Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 24

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 23 Archive 24 Archive 25


Forum as an external link to its main website's article?

According from WP:LINKSTOAVOID, links to forums are not allowed, but what if the article that the link belongs to is about its main/mother website itself? Does the guideline still applies? E Wing (talk) 14:29, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I believe that if the article is about the forums itself than the link is allowed, but if the article is about a website and the website operates forums then there should be only a link to the website and not to the forums. Themfromspace (talk) 14:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Official sites trump the links to avoid. If the forum is the official site of something, then it should be linked to. I'd imagine this is very extremely rare. 2005 (talk) 21:45, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Fan sites

WP:FANSITE redirects here and I am sure I have seen fan sites listed as to be avoided, but not there at present. What changed and when, please? Guy (Help!) 21:45, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Around October and November 2007 there were a large number of edits partly concerning fansite status. At various points there was no statement, at other points two contradictory ones: that one official fansite might be appropriate, but later in the article, under "Links to be avoided": "Fanlistings are generally not informative and should not ordinarily be included." [1]. These repeated edits resulted in the article being protected on October 29. For some time the article made no mention of fansites, but by March 14, fansites were back again in "Links to be avoided" "Links to social networking sites (such as MySpace or Fan sites)..." So it goes. Piano non troppo (talk) 12:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The redirect was done by TheBlazikenMaster on July 19 and 28, 2007, without giving a reason. [2]. This user has an unusual editing history, including an edit justification: "Getting blocked is not the end of the world so I don't care". [3]. Perhaps significantly their user page reads "I don't understand this place." Now, apparently they have left Wikipedia. Was there a specific WP:FANSITE page? Does someone know how to retrieve it, at least so we can discuss it? Piano non troppo (talk) 16:48, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
All types of sites are covered by the guideline. 2005 (talk) 21:49, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Which does not answer the question. I'm sure I remember fan sites being explicitly listed. Guy (Help!) 22:40, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
It didn't say that exactly then but it was changed two years ago, three maybe. 2005 (talk) 22:56, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Most (objectionable) fansites are covered under WP:ELNO #10 and #11, but would it be helpful to include language somewhere about fansites specifically? We don't want people to think they've ended up at the wrong page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Better to just delete the FANSITE shortcut. (I suppose a sentence could be added that this guideline applies to every kind of website that could be external linked, but I don't think a line like that should be followed by a laundry list of the types of sites just because there is a shortcut. That could be a way to do it though.) 2005 (talk) 00:15, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
About 60 pages link to FANSITE. I doubt that deletion would be supported. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:02, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the FANSITE shortcut should be changed to ELNO, which makes clear what the limiting factors are on wikis, forums, privately owned sites, etc. 2005 (talk) 01:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I just came here wanting to ask exactly the same question. Has the consensus about fansites changed? If so, we should make it clear which fansites should be linked and which shouldn't. We need some criteria to differentiate acceptable and objectionable fansites. (Personally, I was fine with the old rule, which simply said, fansites are off-limits.) Jayen466 11:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it needs to mention fansites so people know they have come to the right page, and I would prefer it to say they are off-limits, I don't know how we would sort them out otherwise, and clearly (to me at least) in general they are not the sorts of links we allow anywhere else, so we shouldn't be allowing them. dougweller (talk) 11:39, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me that in the absence of an exception that applies specifically to "fansites", the same qualifications and restrictions would apply to fansites as would apply to any other site. I don't understand the confusion? Rray (talk) 00:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
We "sort them out" via this guideline, primarily via WP:ELNO points #10, #11 and #12. It would be silly to make guidelines for every single type of site. It's very clear in differentiating what sort of thing can be linked and what cannot, without trying to force one view on masses of editors. Obviously thousands of regular editors think quality/authority/expert wiki and other fansites have their place, and the guideline offers a fairly high bar for their inclusion. 2005 (talk) 01:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
It's irrelevant what editors think, if they don't also know Wiki guidelines. In my experience, most of the fansites are added Many make only a few edits, and leave Wikipedia, never to return.
2005, in regard to your statements, Argumentum ad populum, they aren't "very clear" or "obvious", they seem to part of your "platform" that external links to social sites and other sites should be allowed unless it can be demonstrated in each specific case that they should not be linked. (Discussed at length above in [4] where you use similar argumentation to defend MySpace links, and indeed, maintain that "If an official site is a piece of crap, we don't care".) This is turning the Wiki rules on their heads, allowing unverifiable information, promotion and illegal material to be linked unless it can be argued otherwise. In practice, this would make it easy to add the links, but difficult to remove them.
It isn't "silly" to make guidelines that cover some aspect of every type of site, Wiki does it all the time. It's simple to disallow all fansites, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Those unusual circumstances might be iterated. If they were, then editors adding external links fansites should be required to justify adding a link according to the iterated exceptions for these "special fansites". I think either is unlikely to happen. In lieu of that, the old rule should stand: Fansites are off limits. Piano non troppo (talk) 16:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Also fansites are a particular problem - once a single fansite is added, the operators of every fansite in the world come along and try to add theirs. I think fansites are an open invitation towards the spam event horizon. But it can be fixed by adding to #10, #11 or #12, I think, since they are for the most part just another class of social network / blog / forum / self-published twaddle-o-rama. Guy (Help!) 20:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't see fansites as anywhere close to the problem of slim commercial/affiliate sites. And, if a valid fansite is added, that may seem like an "invitation" to add non-valid fansites but it clearly is not. The proper process is to remove invalid links of every kind. The guideline clearly, directly says there is no "open invitation" towards a spamhole. The point is that fansites are covered by the guideline, and fansites like do end up with tons of links, but the guideline covers that by saying it needs lots of editors, etc. The laundry lists in 10,11,12 could have the word fansite added, but the wording needs to reflect the status quo... meaning a fansite run by a recognized expert(s), or a fansite with thousands of editors, could be linked. 2005 (talk) 22:38, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Piano non troppo, as mentioned elsewhere, please read the guideline before making more argumentive posts of this nature. Illegal material that can never be linked is called out. The guideline says so, so please stop making up these rather absurd strawmen arguments and attributing them to me. And most bizarrely, I hate myspace links. I'd love to see myspace on the block list. But it isn't, and the guideline says what it does, and the mass of editors have the opinions they have. Now again, please read the guideline before continuing along this line. You will see that copyright and other illegal violations are spelled out. 2005 (talk) 22:50, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
See my answer above in [5] that proposes a solution. You've added excellent effort to this article but there are still built-in contradictions: E.g., In pragmatic terms, it isn't clear what kind of exception an "official site" is. Once you allow "multiple official external links" and allow those links to be MySpace, you are, in effect allowing multiple links to MySpace. Piano non troppo (talk) 13:41, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
You have complained repeatedly that this guideline doesn't define what counts as an "official" website, but I have never seen any actual problems over that. Everyone seems to figure out pretty easily that (for example) a website maintained by a book's publisher is an "official" website for the book, and that "Susie's Official I Love Harry Potter Website" is not -- unless, of course, Susie's Official I Love Harry Potter Website is the actual subject of the Wikipedia article in question.
And yes, you could legitimately have multiple official MySpace pages. Imagine an artist who does both visual art and music, and maintains two entirely separate MySpace accounts (one for visual art and one for music). This is supposed to be allowed under Wikipedia's policies, even if (horrors!) it means that there are two links to the loathsome MySpace internet domain in an article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:10, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Bold edit: I have boldly added fansites to WP:ELNO #11. I chose this one because it is the one that contains the "recognized authority" exception. Does anyone object to redirecting WP:FANSITE to WP:ELNO instead of the whole page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Very good. It seems that updating the shortcut now is required. 2005 (talk) 06:15, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

What, exactly, is a fansite? Generally one thinks of them with respect to people, but is a railfan site about the New York City Subway, and is certainly linked on Wikipedia and has been for a long time. --NE2 10:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

A fansite... is a website created and maintained by a fan(s) or devotee(s) interested in a celebrity, thing, or a particular cultural phenomenon. Fansite. One problem with adding the word is some people have very specific things they think of as a fansite, but the reality is the encyclopedia's defintion is very broad. The subway one certainly is another, but it appears to be a recognized authority (tho I didn't really look hard). 2005 (talk) 10:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
It's a gray area WRT being a reliable source, meaning it's probably OK for non-controversial stuff. As for linking to it, it generally "provides a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article", with many current and historic photos of most stations and all subway car models, for example [6]. --NE2 13:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to remove the recent addition unless someone can explain this. --NE2 15:09, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
And removed. --NE2 14:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
NE2, I don't understand why you removed all mention of fan sites from this guideline. Fansites are generally not allowed, and WP:FANSITE redirects here, so we need to mention fan sites in this guideline. Those sites that have a level of expertise are allowed -- which is why they were mentioned in that specific line of ELNO.
What's your problem with mentioning fan sites in this guideline? (BTW, I'm not convinced that really is a fan site as far as Wikipedia is concerned.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:47, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
That's the problem. Some people have their own individual definitions of a fan site. We define fan sites as a site established by fans of someone/thing. The subway site is a fan site, but that isn't the point. It's that useless phrase "fan site". It has no purpose in the guideline. We define what sites can be linked. Adding fansites, corporate sites, or anything else is not helpful because the definition is so like pornography - "I know it when I see it" but everybody has different ideas about that. I can see having the word in there where it was, but it is both worse and pure WP:CREEP to call out a type of site when every aspect of the guideline already covers that. Essentially you need to be either an official site or an expert site to be linked, and you can't be a copyright thief. Everything beyond that is more or less just saying the same thing over and over. 2005 (talk) 03:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Formatting link refs

So here's a question: This page says:

"1. This guideline does not apply to inline citations, which appear in the "References" or "Notes" section."
"2. External links should not normally be used in the body of an article. Instead, include appropriate external links in an "External links" section at the end and/or in the appropriate location within an infobox or navbox."

So does #2 actually apply to external links that are being used as inline citations, but which do not appear in the "References" section? (See Chondrosarcoma for an example.) I normally add <ref> tags around such links, but is that actually required under this guideline? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:18, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd say yes, but only in the sense that is how to do the markup right. Google[1] just needs ref tags, Google is an inapproriate use of an external link. 2005 (talk) 00:25, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree that Google (or the same style for any link) is horrible, prohibited by this guideline (especially when it's being used to point the reader to a website instead of to support factual statements), and unfortunately common in certain articles. I usually see it pointing to disease-specific charities and academic journals. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Speaking of the obviously wrong method of formatting links, you should see Occupational health psychology‎. Actually: you shouldn't, because it shouldn't be done that way. I've shoved them all down to the end of the article, because the last time that I deleted the endless link farms, I got reverted. It seems someone really believes that Wikipedia needs a long list of journals, magazines, and universities that (*gasp*) offer college degrees! WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I found the answer. 'embedded links' are specifically allowed at WP:CITE#Embedded_links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:34, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

"rich media"

In looking over the section on "Rich media" I was wondering if links such as these should be included. They also do not seem to be "previews" but rather full songs. Soundvisions1 (talk) 13:26, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

They should be removed and converted to OGG and uploaded here instead, see Wikipedia:Media help (Ogg) & Wikipedia:Creation_and_usage_of_media_files#Audio.--Otterathome (talk) 13:35, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Linking to Twitter pages

Lately I have noticed more external linking to people's Twitter account. Normally social networking sites are not to be linked. Should Twitter be an exception to this or should we be cleaning these out of the pages? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jroesslein (talkcontribs) 22:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

These should normally not be accepted, unless the Twitter account is really, truly an "official" website for a person. So if Barack Obama has a Twitter account, and this is an official publicity mechanism for him, and it's not easily found at his several other official websites, then yes, you could link to it. But otherwise -- no. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:52, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Disputing WP:ELNO #10

Aspire One User Forum was deleted from Aspire One per WP:ELNO #10 recently. What are the exceptions to WP:ELNO #10? Should some be mentioned? If the biggest resource about the topic is a forum with tens of thousands of posts, should it still be removed? And if so, how does this improve Wikipedia? Habanero-tan (talk) 23:43, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia aspires to link to expert, reliable information. By their nature, forums will never be that since any anonymous person can post false, unreliable material in individual forum posts. The encyclopedia is improved by only linking to meritable, reliable websites. 2005 (talk) 04:04, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Habanero-tan, if the article were about the forum (Aspire One User Forum), then you could link it. But if the article is about the company, then the user forum is not the company's official website. If the company wants users to find the forum, then they will have to go to the trouble of providing prominent links on their own website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:54, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Links to Torrents

You should mention that *certain* torrent links are frowned upon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smallman12q (talkcontribs) 00:44, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

We never link to Torrents, ever. DreamGuy (talk) 15:17, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Linking to Content-Mirror Website?

Should someone be allowed to put their website in the external links section of an article when much of that website is a "content mirror" of certain Wikipedia articles? What is happening is someone is linking to their website, which also features past versions of Wikipedia articles that they accept.

WP:SPS says, "Articles and posts on Wikipedia, or other websites that mirror Wikipedia content, may not be used as sources." But I cannot see in WP:EL where it says a link (versus an inline citation) to be avoided is one to a website which has pages that mirror WP content. Emptymountains (talk) 00:25, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

The first item of ELNO is: "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article." That disqualifies all mirrors right there. There is obviously no need to link to a copy of the same article. I suppose a line could be added to clarify that, but the above text and the rest of the guideline is pretty clear that external links need to add something, and copies by definition never do. 2005 (talk) 01:03, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear enough. The main feature of their website is mirroring past versions of articles that they agree with (as they don't agree with the current versions). They do have some webpages on their website that are not mirrors (but new contnet). It's the mixture of the two that makes this no longer a black-or-white issue. Here is the link: Tibetan Buddhism Goes West, which they link to from the Dorje Shugden Controversy article (the link there is called "Western Shugden Society - unlocked"). The first four articles on their website are content mirrors. However, they also have other content on their website, which is what they are linking to. But in effect, they are linking to a website that mirrors (old) Wikipedia content. Emptymountains (talk) 13:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
The answer is the same -- no reason to do it. I'd go so far as to say it's strictly forbidden because there never would have a legitimate reason to do it. DreamGuy (talk) 15:06, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your advice. I have taken the liberty to remove the website from inline citations and the external links sections of that article and related articles. Emptymountains (talk) 11:20, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


Is Findagrave an appropriate link for External links? It seems to be self published and not a reliable source?? Thank you, --Tom 14:27, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Findagrave is one of the most highly linked fansites in the Wikipedia even though it a very questionable link. I think you are unlikely to get any consensus on an answer to your question. Personally the more obscure the person, where there is little else to link, the better a link it is. For extremely well known people I would never link it. But that's just me. 2005 (talk) 22:19, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
External links do not have to meet the standards for reliable sources. They only have to meet the standards for external links. Self-published links are accepted: Indeed, nearly every website (including all corporate websites) is self-published. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:51, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
They don't have to meet RS standards, but they still have to be fundamentally encyclopedic, and findagrave would almost never be appropriate from any page of it I've ever seen, which is plenty. It's like a facebook for tombstones with people adding whatever they want. I remove them all on site, per previous discussions here affirming that. And if I'm not mistaken we also had a problem in the past with the links being masses added by accounts that had a clear COI, so I'd prefer it be added to our spam blacklist. DreamGuy (talk) 15:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with DreamGuy, they should be removed and should be on our spam blacklist. We don't allow links to open Wikis normally, how is this different? As for self-published, although that doesn't apply here, we don't allow links to personal websites, so to say self-published links are accepted is incorrect. dougweller (talk) 10:04, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Dougweller, who do you think 'publishes', if it's not Coca-cola? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


Please see:

Please update this WP:EL section:

This sentence: This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright.

It should be clarified and rewritten to incorporate the other info. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Even if YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos, it is still appropriate for editors to exercise due care. I therefore don't see any need to change this statement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
As someone familiar with the realities of YouTube, I also think we should limit the statement to advising editors to exercise due care. The claim that "YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos"[7] is somewhat naive according to my experience with the site. Moreover, the material you recently added to the guideline appears to encourage people to think that any video upload which can be attributed to a major label is not an infringement,[8] not something that is advisable if we want to avoid linking to copyright violations. – The Parting Glass 10:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, that sounds alright. People should exercise due care. I think the problem was in another section that said "which would happen infrequently". See this section: WP:YOUTUBE. "There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (which would happen infrequently - see Restrictions on Linking)."
YouTube removes videos all the time that have material from labels it does not have agreements with. So we shouldn't make blanket statements either way about linking or not linking. "Due care" is reasonable and responsible. I removed "which would happen infrequently." --Timeshifter (talk) 05:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
"YouTube removes videos all the time that have material from labels it does not have agreements with." Yes, and stuff doesn't get removed, at least not immediately (and in some cases, not for some years). And then there's the stuff where the uploader knows not to hoast it for too long – pulling it from the channel after it's reached its audience – or those uploads which are the user's own conversions/adaptations from pre-digital formats (Hello, vinyl!), not as likely to register with any library the copyright owner might have access to. And so on.
Look, I'm not coming at this merely as someone who's a bit of a hardass where external links are concerned. I come at this as someone who has used YouTube for several years precisely because it offers a wide selection of "black market" goodies which I otherwise couldn't afford. An anti-discrimination campaign for "underprivileged" sites is a fine thing in principle, but, in practice, it's going to end up as advocacy for those uploaders trying to attract traffic to their channels using illicit means – who aren't, by any means, an insignificant minority who get stamped on within minutes of their first copyright infringement. – The Parting Glass 10:47, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
The existing line says exactly what we want. Editors should use care. 2005 (talk) 11:06, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

The idea that YouTube has permission for most of its content is naive -- the content most people would WANT to link to is quite often without permission. The existence of a bunch of personal videas nobody here would ever try to link to in the first place proves nothing. And, hell, it's not like there's even a reason to link to YouTube most of the time anyway even if it were with permission. We aren't a web directory. DreamGuy (talk) 14:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I would also generally discourage links to rich media/video pages because of the number of readers with dial-up or slow connections. Those of us with supercomputers and high-speed internet access everywhere we go have probably forgotten what it's like to attempt to use an underpowered computer and a slow modem. (I talked to someone a few weeks ago who's running a Macintosh Quadra. Imagine YouTube on a 68040 chip.) Video has its place, but in an effort to provide a reasonably level playing field for all of our readers, it needs to be a small place. Also, clips that are essentially entertainment e.g., ("Highlights from my favorite TV show") are unacceptable. I think that "discouraged, but definitely not banned" is the right balance for Wikipedia articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Comment. Several of the people commenting here do little but remove external links from articles. So they do not represent the majority of Wikipedia editors. Spam fighters camp out here at WP:EL. I could name names but anyone can tell by going to their user pages. Their opinion is valuable too, but their numbers and loudness here are not a basis for consensus. They are the ones continually adding back "which would happen infrequently" as a way to make a form of almost blanket prohibition of linking to YouTube videos. This goes against the reasonable standard of "due care." There are many totally legal YouTube videos. For example; there are many official YouTube channels for the major labels. The videos on those channels are without question totally legal. Many of the popular videos elsewhere on YouTube with tens of thousands of views are also legal. The questionable videos are the ones with few views that YouTube may not have screened yet with its video ID tools. There is a vast middle ground too that requires due care. For more info on Google/YouTube's video ID tools see Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos. The Internet Archive (Wayback Machine) is another vast archive. It also has to frequently remove sites that owners don't want archived. We allow linking to the Internet Archive. See Wikipedia:Using the Wayback Machine. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

The Internet Way Back Machine is used for references, not external links. This guideline doesn't care what sources are used to support information in articles. If you can write an entire article simply by <ref>ing YouTube articles, then you'll get no objections based on this guideline. This guideline really only cares about what is (or should be) listed under ==External links==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:08, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Whatever your opinion of the utility of the Internet Archive or YouTube as an external link we shouldn't be adding "which would happen infrequently" to the statement "There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page." See this diff: [9]. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:11, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep wording as is. We must be reasonable in all edits we make, and this wording is eminently reasonable. A blanket prohibition would be unhelpful and highly counterproductive to our encyclopedia. Our editors--that is, editors who actually create and add to articles rather than primarily removing or attempting to remove content or sources--edit with judiciousness and discernment, and are our strongest asset. Let them do their work. Badagnani (talk) 04:06, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Legality of the link is not the only reason why they are (or were) often inappropriate. We are not a linkfarm is another one, and linking to media for which special software may be needed, the several occasions of users having a coi with adding the youtube movies, that external links should add to documents, prefereably used as a reference and to draw content from, or which are inaccessible for slow internet connections are some of the others. I do however concur that a sentence as 'which happens infrequently' is a bit overdone (though probably true!). Taking good care (and quite some of it) with links to youtube (and all other servers with audio/video media) is still in order, and that should be enough. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Links to pay sites

This entry under "links normally to be avoided" bothers me:

  1. Links to sites that require payment or registration to view the relevant content, unless the site itself is the subject of the article, or the link is a convenience link to a citation. See below.

This would exclude links to many of the top academic journals! It needs to be qualified or deleted. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:49, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

As noted, it doesn't include citations that have printed media, but paid online archives. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 22:09, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Short Brigade Harvester Boris, are you fully aware that this rule applies only to things linked under ==External links==, and not at all to any sort of <ref>erence? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:49, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I am, though in my experience the distinction is very often not recognized. It's simply not clear to me why relevant and high-quality information should be excluded solely because it requires payment. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
For the simple reason that it will be inaccessible to the vast majority of our readers. The external links section should only be used sparingly, and for resources that a majority of our readership will be able to access. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:18, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Peer-reviewed journals also are inaccessible to the vast majority of our readers, but no one sane would suggest we prohibit them from being used as references. And yes, I understand the difference between links and refs -- I guess the basic problem is I don't see why different rules should apply to links as opposed to references, but I'll let the matter drop. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:14, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Most peer reviewed journals can be found in local and university libraries, or copies of articles from them requested from such sources, with little to no cost. So they are not as inaccessible as a pay only site. The main thing is the citations provide both the info for the offline copy, with a convenience link for those who do feel like paying. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 16:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Peer-reviewed journals are listed in the refs for the purpose of complying with WP:Verifiability. In that situation, including a "convenience link" (for the convenience of the few people with access to it) is no worse for the reader without access than just listing the full citation without providing the link. The alternative here is to limit article content to only those statements that can be supported by material that is freely available online, which proposal would likely be greeted with hoots of derision.
The purpose of the ==External links== section is to provide the reader with other things to read. Think of it like saying to the reader, "If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read..." Telling them to go read something that 95% of them can't read is silly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:22, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

NZ on Screen

In November last year an editor approached New Zealand Wikipedians at Wikipedia:New_Zealand_Wikipedians'_notice_board/Archive_10#NZ_On_Screen_as_a_source the NZ-related noticeboard to ask whether links to the website NZ On Screen were permitted to be added to appropriate articles. There wasn't much discussion, but it was agreed that these links were valuable. A precedent was set by a representative from Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand asking for permission to post links to that government-funded encyclopedia. Those links also fell afoul of anti-spam patrollers: see User talk:Tearanz, and the user appears to have stopped editing here.

There are very few authoritative and non-commercial sources on New Zealand actors and the New Zealand television and film industries. NZ On Screen is possibly the only one.

In at least some cases, the editor who has added links to NZ On Screen has also added material to the articles. See Robyn Malcolm for an example. To make it clear that the links have been added with permission, they have added a link to the noticeboard discussion with each edit (although the noticeboard has been archived since).

User:Themfromspace has removed the links as linkspam and COI, apparently not being aware until late in the editing session about the noticeboard discussion.

I believe that we should encourage representatives of such sites (ie government-funded, non-commercial, authoritative sites) to approach the relevant WikiProject to gain approval for such links, and when permission is given, the links should not be reverted without a new consensus being formed.-gadfium 06:16, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I removed the links per the guidelines at WP:EL. All of the information from the links can be incorporated into their respective articles, and the link can (and should) be used as a reference. A link like this doesn't belong in the "external links" section of an article. Remember, Wikipedia isn't a linkfarm, nor should it be used as a vehicle for advertising. Only official sites should be linked to, and those whose information is unable to be posted on Wikipedia due to copyright concerns. Themfromspace (talk) 06:22, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Your response confuses me a little. I would have understood (but not agreed) if you were removing them on the ground of COI. NZ on Screen does contain copyrighted material, such as video clips from shows aired on television. There are also interviews with people in the industry, some of whom have Wikipedia articles. The text on the site is CC-BY-NC (at least the sample bio I looked at is) but the clips and photos are copyrighted to a range of sources, such as South Pacific Pictures. I'm using [10] and [11] as my examples. The video clips use Macromedia Flash - if you aggressively block such content in your web browser, as I do, you may need to allow it for a few minutes to evaluate the site. This would appear to be an example of a site which is an appropriate external link.-gadfium 08:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
This is a non-commercial website providing information of encyclopedic value that can't be included in WP articles (e.g., copyright multimedia content). All the hosted copyright media is cleared for use by the copyright holders (see rights clearance notice). Based on my understanding of the letter and spirit of WP:EL, linking to this site from an external links section is fine on a case-by-case basis. --Muchness (talk) 09:42, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. There's nothing wrong with those links (used in the right context). And the person who originally added them dealt with the possible COI openly and straightforwardly, so I see no problem there. -- Avenue (talk) 14:22, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... Yes, I see your point. I also have flash blocked on my web browser and all I see from that site is the biography, which was what I was referring to when I mentioned that the site can be implemented into the articles and cited. I'll have to try switching to another browser to see what I'm unable to see now. I'll repost here when I do so, as it appears that I was probably mistaken in thinking there wasn't any valuable copyrighted information on that site. Themfromspace (talk) 20:23, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
There is certainly copyrighted material on NZ On Screen that cannot be shared or reposted on Wikipedia. Where it has seemed appropriate or relevant the material from the biographies and backgrounds has been integrated with existing content on Wikipedia entries. However I would say that the value from the external links directly to NZ On Screen is in the extended material a user will find there - video clips and photographs in particular.
If there is a consensus that the links are OK, what is the process for reinstating them? -- filmtvfan (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC).
If we reach consensus here, one of us will reinstate the links, and I'll give you a new edit summary to use pointing to this more detailed discussion for the future.-gadfium 01:07, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Noting, I hope, that this discussion will be archived before long, and thus the pointers will break. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:26, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Re above. Now that I can view the site, I see that I was missing most of what was on it due to my lack of flash. The whole sideways scrollbar is unavailable to those without flash. Any issues with this site is now conferred to WP:ELNO #7&8. I for one am willing to agree that the link can stay on this site and I apologize for taking the links down without examining most of the content. Themfromspace (talk) 02:51, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

I have restored the links. For any further placement of such links, I suggest the edit summary contain "See [12]" (which is the version of this page just before I added this comment), and the link text include "(requires Adobe Flash))".-gadfium 03:26, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Another option is to mark this discussion as {{resolved}}, archive it to Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 24#NZ on Screen, and link to the stable archive page from the edit summary. This may be preferable as iirc URLs don't convert to clickable links in edit summaries (correct me if I'm wrong). --Muchness (talk) 06:04, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Links to Hulu and other sites only accessible in specific regions

There are about 300 links to Hulu right now [13]. There is also a {{Hulu}} template for making such links. Yet they can only be accessed from the US. According to this guideline, links to sites "that are inaccessible to a substantial number of users, such as sites that only work with a specific browser" should "normally" be avoided. This raises the question whether Wikipedia should have all these links to this site (and others like it), if they are inaccessible to what may be a majority of the readers. Should(n't) this guideline take a stronger stance with regard to this issue? Should these links perhaps even be (automatically) removed? Or appended with something like "(US only)"? – Chip Zero 17:57, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I brought this issue up few months ago, but was unable to gain consensus on it. I still believe that these links should be removed since they do not fulfill WP:EL. Appending them with US only tag serves only to fuel the biased view editors are accused of taking many times. LeaveSleaves 18:20, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I figured this would have come up before, but wasn't able to find it using Google. The guideline currently takes a stronger stance w.r.t. registration sites, where you can only view the content if you're registered or have a subscription. It seems that non-www sites like Hulu take this even a step further and disallow large parts of the world to view it. Being the closest thing to an international version of Wikipedia, I would say that these links have no place on Wikipedia EN. – Chip Zero 19:29, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't see a major problem with using Hulu for external links. I would use it more sparingly for reference links though. We frequently link to print versions of library books as references. We have to trust the user who created the reference, and the occasional user who checks out the info in the library book. It is nice when we have a convenience link to the full text via Google Books, Amazon Books, etc.. But not all books have their full text online somewhere. Many more people have access to Hulu compared to those with access to many print-only books found only in certain libraries. So Hulu is a tolerable reference link for some things.
Hulu is fine for English Wikipedia external links in my opinion. External links are additional info. It is not essential that everybody worldwide have access to it. Many external links are inaccessible to many people in other parts of the world anyway due to international distances, slow connections, bandwidth bottlenecks, etc.. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:09, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
We are not a web directory, we ar an encyclopedia. Videos are not "additional info" they are entertainment. We don't link to sites to play games, watch TV, see trailers, and so forth. DreamGuy (talk) 15:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
What you are saying is not logical. There are many articles on Wikipedia about entertainers, TV shows, and games. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Having articles on topics doesn't mean we provide links for people to go enjoy them as entertainment. WP:EL is very clear on these things. The links have to have an encyclopedic purpose, not just to give links to people. Read our rules and all your confusiong should go away. DreamGuy (talk) 16:55, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree that Hula should not be placed in external links, I'd nominate that template for deletion, and I cannot imagine why we would ever use it for a reference. - brenneman 14:26, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

There's absolutely no encyclopedic reason to link to Hulu on any article except the one about Hulu itself (per the links to home page criteria). I can't believe there is anyone unclear on the concept. There's no encyclopedic value to it whatsoever. It is and always has been strictly forbidden by any reading of our rules on links. DreamGuy (talk) 15:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Do you make this stuff up as you go along? "I can't believe there is anyone unclear on the concept. There's no encyclopedic value to it whatsoever." Please ease up on the hyperbole. See the comment below from ViperSnake. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:25, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with ViperSnake, and would respectfully disagree with you, but it's clear you are not trying to be respectful of other people or Wikipedia rules in general. DreamGuy (talk) 16:56, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, while it could be considered a part of the "An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work" rule, the fact that its restricted to the US makes it not not allowed. ViperSnake151 16:00, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Until now that was not true. But someone just changed the guideline without consensus. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC) is not normally acceptable because of WP:ELNO #7: It's not okay to say provide links that are known to be worthless to anyone in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, etc. I have expanded the description of ELNO #7 to clarify that "inaccessible to a substantial number of users" is not limited to solely software-based issues. The point is the 'inaccessibility to a substantial number of users' part, not the 'spank the idiot web programmer' part. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:30, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
You don't have consensus for this. And WP:EL is a guideline not a policy. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I didn't claim that EL is a policy, and it appears that we do have a basic level of consensus. The opposition of a single editor (you), and you haven't actually advanced a single logical reason for including temporary links that are only functional for a fraction of our users. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:29, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I should point out that Hulu is not a permanent repository for these videos. The TV episodes are removed from the site after a certain period of time. This somehow also fails it under WP:ELNO #16. LeaveSleaves 19:46, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
This seems like the only legitimate reason I have heard so far to limit the use of Hulu as an external link. But it depends on how long Hulu keeps stuff up. Many web pages outside Hulu disappear too. That is why we end up linking to archived stuff at the Internet Archive. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Keep hulu links out. This should be a no-brainer. The consensus here is very clear and this discussion is specifically about WP:EL after all. --Ronz (talk) 15:49, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Sigh, indeed. Links to video sites should be kept to a real minimum, as they are generally failing parts of this guideline. If is only accessible in the US, and not outside of that, then that fails this guideline completely, and they should even actively be removed from external links sections. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:04, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I tested, it does indeed not work here in the UK. I can not see the movie. The link itself even does not work properly, it redirects to the main page, and when I do get to the movie, I get a message that I can't see it. Outside of that question, I wonder if the video's I tried would actually add to the page (trailers? Can't they link to the movie website itself?). --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:09, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The most common use of Hulu as an external link at the moment is on television related articles. Hulu includes legitimate copyrighted US TV episodes soon after their first airing. An argument I have heard in these cases is that being a link that provides primary source (the episode itself) and in some cases is probably unique for such videos, the link is considered valid. At no point however does it answer the concerns raised against it. LeaveSleaves 17:01, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Remark: {{hulu}} was nominated for deletion a couple of days ago, see Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2009_February_4#Template:Hulu. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:06, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Number of external links per inline statement

If we have a statement like "Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall", and that event is reported by 100 news agencies, is it appropriate to list as EL's every one of them? I think its obviously redundant and clutters the article. Let's say only 3 sources report the event. Shouldn't that also be considered redundant?--Fasttimes68 (talk) 19:05, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

As already noted at WP:NOT, the EL guidelines do not generally apply to references. If you want to argue that having multiple references is redundant, then argue it at WP:CITE or WP:RS, however keep in mind that there is absolutely nothing wrong with including 2-3 cites on a sentence, particularly if its material that is repeatedly challenged or may be contentious or if its a BLP article. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 19:16, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Remove or modify line: "Sites with other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article, such as reviews and interviews"

The problem with item 4 under the What Should be Linked section, which reads "Sites with other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article, such as reviews and interviews" should probably be removed or modified, as it makes no mention of the quality of the link in question. As such, it is confusing to people trying to understand what is and is not an acceptable link. The main problem seems that this item makes no mention as to the reliability or respectability of the reviews in question. If I run a personal website, and do reviews of movies on it, but I have no widespread acceptance in mainstream media as a reliable or respected movie critic, shouldn't I have the right to add a link to my website? We need to fix this item so it is clear what specific sorts of links are allowable and which ones are not; or simply remove the statement entirely as too vague to be useful. Anyone out there have any ideas on how to handle this? 04:57, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

yes, normally we would use a reference to such a site if it were reliable, and I don;t see the point of linking to it if it isn't. DGG (talk) 05:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with the two comments above. Reading this line broadly I think that less-well-respected sites might not be considered "relevant" to the article, while a link to, say, a review by Roger Ebert would be considered more "relevant" as he's a famous and respected critic. Themfromspace (talk) 05:13, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
That line sums up pretty well a class of external links that are useful - it may simply not offer enough guidance. If a site contains only poor quality information, the problem isn't necessarily reliability because reliability in the strict sense (sources known for editorial oversight, fact checking, accountability, neutrality) is not always necessary. The information may be poor quality for a variety of other reasons. It may be stale, not comprehensive, not the best out there, not very useful, not relevant, redundant, or spammy. In the case of even good film reviews, choosing one over the many hundreds of others puts Wikipedia in the position of playing favorites. Wikidemon (talk) 19:59, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I have long believed that this statement should be demoted to WP:ELMAYBE, especially since it is largely redundant with an item there. It is widely misunderstood; for example, I've had people tell me that this item overrides the ban on links to internet chat boards. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:40, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I support this modification just to make thigns even more clear to people DreamGuy (talk) 15:20, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Based on these comments, I have removed the line. There are other lines in ELYES and ELMAYBE which clearly are duplicate with this line, and rather than clarify, this line was only obfuscating the issue. 19:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I read over everything after you made this change, and I think that wholesale removal was the right call. The two examples (interviews and reviews) were already mentioned. The same general point is made at WP:ELMAYBE #4. I think this is a good decision. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:42, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Good move with the removal! I have never been able to understand what that sentance was supposed to mean anyway. -- The Red Pen of Doom 20:51, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Youtube link where we cannot find any copyright info

This Youtube video doesn't contain any copyright information that anyone has yet found. It's being discussed at Talk:Bates_method#Meir_Schneider, where editors suggest that we don't know if it's a copyright violation, so it's fine to link. I'm not so sure. --Ronz (talk) 17:40, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

As has been pointed out in the discussion, the Youtube account hosting the news broadcast in question is verifiably connected to the individual featured therein. So the chances that permission was granted are much higher than if it had just been posted by some random person. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to keep the links out when the copyright is in doubt. Wish others would voice their opinions. --Ronz (talk) 00:47, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
In this type of situation, excluding the link due to copyright concerns I believe amounts to an assumption of bad faith. The news broadcast is not posted by some random person. It is hosted on an account verifiably connected to the individual featured therein. If you're concerned why don't you contact Channel 2 in Israel and let them know about the video in case they don't already. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:00, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
If it contains no copyright information, it should not be used unless it is on an official channel by someone affiliated with the video (i.e. vested by YouTube itself to have the right to post the videos). It has nothing to with an "assumption of bad faith" but the reality most videos on YouTube that are not personal videos are copyright violations. That is reality. That said, it is rare that a YouTube video should be used as a source anyway. If its a legitimate broadcast, cite the real broadcast, not its YouTube video which may or may not be legal. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
It was being used as an External link, not a reference. It is on an account verifiably connected to the individual featured in the news broadcast (see the discussion at Talk:Bates method regarding that). So it's not as if it were just a random person who posted it. With that being the case I believe this is largely a matter of assuming good faith or lack thereof. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:48, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
That's even easier, it is not an appropriate EL even if it is legit. I see no added value to that article at all that makes it so important to meet EL guidelines. It doesn't add substantial "meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article" as any related info can and should be incorporated into the article itself. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. It would be very difficult to follow NPOV while referencing that broadcast in-text. We'd end up breaching Undue weight, Impartial tone, or both (following both of those at the same time has been an ongoing problem with that article.) PSWG1920 (talk) 03:20, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello, we generally don't link to YouTube anyway, per our rules (see the main page that this talk page is supposed to be discussing). And, generally speaking, anything on YouTube from SHOULD be considered a copyright violation unless we have proof to the contrary, based upon how extensive the copyright problems there are. It'd be different if the video were on some official site, as then we'd have a good faith reason to think it was being used following proper copyright laws... but even there we basically don't link to videos anyway. DreamGuy (talk) 16:44, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

It is on an account verifiably connected to the official site of the individual featured in the news broadcast! See the discussion linked above. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:46, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Link to the official site then. Problem solved. DreamGuy (talk) 16:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
You are aware, I hope, that newscasts are copyrighted material? Just because the subject appeared in the broadcast, doesn't make a video of that broadcast cease to be a copyright violation. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

--Orange Mike | Talk 17:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I'm aware of that. My argument was that he probably got permission to use it, at least the chances of that are much, much higher than if it had appeared on some random account. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Fair use and Youtube links

Any further discussion of the specific situation above should occur at the talk page on which it started so as to maintain context. However, I'd like to ask in general about how Fair use applies to Youtube links here. [14] If we decide that a Youtube video meets fair use criteria, then can it be considered as a link? PSWG1920 (talk) 20:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that such a condition will ever be met. A link under ==External links== can hardly be, for example, in the context of critical analysis. However, if such a rationale were available, then the copyright would obviously not be the reason for denying the link. (I phrase my answer this way, because linking to Flash-based YouTube is always a prima facie violation of WP:ELNO #8.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
What I was referring to was whether the reproduction itself adheres to fair use. If it does, then it's not a copyright violation. Wikipedia:EL#Linking_to_YouTube.2C_Google_Video.2C_and_similar_sites says that there is no blanket ban on linking to Youtube. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:58, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If I'm understanding your question, if a page uses copyrighted material in accordance with fair use, then linking to it is not a copyright violation. For instance, Time uses a still from Watchmen in its review of the film, here. Their use of this still, presuming they don't have permission, would likely meet "fair use." We can link to that review. It contains copyrighted material, but it is not an infringement of copyright. However, it's difficult to imagine a situation where a youtube video conforms to fair use, since youtube videos are generally baldly presented with little to no context and cannot easily be construed as meeting the demands of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and etc. If a copyrighted segment of a video were inserted for such purposes and otherwise in accordance with fair use in a reputable publication, even if hosted on youtube, the case for linking to said reputable publication would be stronger than linking directly to youtube ourselves. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Was there an actual vote on the rules of external wikis, or was it just a handful of people around at the time stating their opinions?

I check the archives, but can't find where the official policy was decided. There is no specific number of editors, or required age of a wiki. I'd like to point out that some editors create many quality articles, while a wiki with many times more editors, can produce something quite inferior. I don't see as how the number of editors or the age of the wiki is relevant at all. I suggest the rule simply be to judge it on its content, just as you would any other external link, and not treat it differently. If there is a significant amount of valid information there, why not link to it? There was formerly a policy that said if there was too much information to fit on a wikipedia article, move it to side pages, or an external wiki. That has, alas, been removed. If people can't find all the information they want on the wikipedia, they should be given an external link to where more information can be found. Dream Focus (talk) 15:15, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that we abandon our policy on self-published sources? And you can't use Wikipedia as a source, are you suggesting we should allos it to be used as a source and if not, why does it differ in principle from an external Wiki?dougweller (talk) 15:36, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
What policy on self published sources? You allow Ain't It Cool to be used as a reference, and linked to in many articles. It was a guy publishing his opinions, and later allowing a few friends to join him. He has never been published anywhere but his own website, by himself. And I suggest that if the articles are of quality level sufficient to be included on the main wikipedia, if not for the size factor, that you be able to link to it for those wishing more information. It helps the people get what they want, which is knowledge, not constantly changing policies most people don't even know about, and only a small number ever decide upon. I honestly can't take any policy seriously, which did not have a general election by all wikipedia users. Millions of people use the wikipedia, but its fate is decided entirely upon whatever random bunch are around to decide things, it always a rather small number. Remember, the wikipedia exist to provide information, not to strangle people with regulations. Dream Focus (talk) 15:54, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Wait: the rule on self-published sources is about ==References==.
This page is about ==External links==.
Is this question about using an open wiki for <ref>erences, or about listing it in the external links section? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:53, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
External links section. Of course you can't use it as a resource, since anyone can add to it. Dream Focus (talk) 21:48, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Good point, sorry. Point still holds as you say. Anyone can add to it. dougweller (talk) 21:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Good point. If no one objects, I'll change it then. How many people think its a good idea to allow external links to wikis, that have valid content? Dream Focus (talk) 22:10, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Errr, no. The purpose of the external links section is to link sparingly to external resources which contain content which can't be included here for some good reason. Free content sources like external wikis typically aren't this kind of resource; material they contain which can't be added to Wikipedia typically isn't useful to an encyclopedia (for instance, huge amounts of unverified fancruft). As such, the resource itself isn't valuable enough to warrant inclusion. (For what it's worth, this issue has had a lot of discussion in the past; it doesn't need a "vote" because voting is evil. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 22:21, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
  • It reads under things to be included "#Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks) or other reasons." If the wiki has that, it should be included. Dream Focus (talk) 22:25, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
    • As Thumperward points out, external links are to be used sparingly, if at all; and (with the sole exception of a link to the subject's own official website) generally should only link to sites which would meet our standards of reliable sources: "neutral and accurate ". That pretty much knocks out most of the wikis you are trying to include. This is long-standing consensus, and is not to be changed lightly. --Orange Mike | Talk 22:29, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Doctor Who has a link to its wiki. See how well done it is? There are a lot of nice ones with relevant content. You ignore anything that is crap. Notice it says substantial content. The previous wording was that content didn't matter, it just needing to be around a long time with a lot of editors, and that to cause problems. Dream Focus (talk) 22:31, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
        • Wikis and everything else should not just be included automatically. But thousands of pages of bad quality content does not merit an external link. The wiki language has been there for a very long time, and the idea that external links have to be meritable and valuable has widespread consensus. Additionally, wikis are often fansites and/or very unstable. Both of these aspects require additional judgment. Just because a wiki, or anything else, is large or popular is no reason to link to it. Wikis are just above forums on the the totem pole because they allow anyone to write anything. There is no merit in that. Merit must be demonstrated another way. When it has many contributors, and a history of reliability and stability, it can be added, but it is a high bar, just like we have a high bar for all sites. 2005 (talk) 22:40, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
        • That's an instance of the futile WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS argument; just because something is in one article, doesn't mean it belongs in another article. Indeed, at your instigation, I've tagged the Dr. Who article as being a pathetic example of a linkfarm in need of slashing. --Orange Mike | Talk 02:15, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
            • I see they reverted your attempts at tagging and deleting over at the Doctor Who page. That is how the wikipedia works. No matter what rules exist, it all comes down to how many active editors an article has, around to defend it. Thus Doctor Who has a page dedicated to just the items found it, one for every monster, even those appearing in just one episode and never seen again, and several pages on the wikipedia. Star Trek and other popular series are the same way. Meanwhile the Gantz Equipment page got deleted, along with such pages for other series that had less editors around to protect them. Editing a page in any way, or deleting it entirely, is done at the whim of the majority of people there at the time, not by any set rules at all. Dream Focus (talk) 05:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Muppets link to its wiki but Naruto doesn't link to its, despite it having a substantial number of editors, articles, and having been around for years now. Does Naruto not fit the current guidelines? If the wiki fits the description of the "Sites to be included" I quoted above, shouldn't it be linked to then? No sense holding it to any standard different than what other sites have. Dream Focus (talk) 22:39, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course their is sense to it. If an article appears in the New York Times today, it will be the same tomorrow. Something in a wiki may be totally different tomorrow. Additionally fan/personal/wiki sites must demonstrate that they do have expertise in a field, whereas we don't need to judge that every single time with CNN or the Washington Post. It seems you misunderstand sites to be included. Just because 50 sites meets the criteria for an article, doesn't mean they all should be included. Those are simply the sites that can be included. We aren't a link farm. We have a guideline that emphasizes concepts in linking. Open wikis and other personal or fansites simply need to get over the bar. Individual sites usually accomplish this by the owner being an aknowledged expert; wikis need to similarly achieve that by having many contributors and a history of reliability. 2005 (talk) 22:46, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I see that Barek has decided to go to the two articles I had link to wiki in, Gantz and Voltron and delete those links. When it was determined that the Voltron article was too long, I copied over all the information, from when it was longest and most detailed, over to a the Voltron wiki I created for that purpose. Almost nothing has changed in it since then. It was fine when it was on the wikipedia, for years, then someone decided it was too long, and deleted the majority of it. Just seems kind of hypocritical really. If its good enough for the wikipedia, its good enough for a wiki. The only reason it was erased, was because of length. Most articles on the wikipedia itself don't meet what most considered to be a decent quality level. Why should the wikia be held by different standards? The Gantz article was the same way. After years of being around, dozens of editors, and no one having a problem with it, a deletist who has never read the series, decided it was too long, as like she does with every series she comes across, erased the majority of it. Dream Focus (talk) 23:17, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Any content on another wiki is no concern here, but obviously a wiki created a day ago will never be worth an external link, just like any site anywhere created a day ago would not be worthy of an external link, except for an official site. 2005 (talk) 02:01, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Dream Focus, I think you're missing the point. One of the reasons that we don't link to open wikis with a poor track record or limited editor base because they're trivially vandalized. When we link to any webpage, we need to be confident that the relevant material will actually be available for the reader. Directing users to a page that now readds "Th|5 lame w|k| has been pwnd" makes us look bad. If you have a wiki with lots of editors around to keep it cleaned up and a track record of them doing that, then #12 "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors" does not prohibit the link.

You still have to justify the link (meaning that it has to make sense under WP:NOT#LINKS and other standards: every single URL must do that), but it is permitted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:07, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Whenever someone makes an edit at the Gantz wiki or the Voltron wiki I get an email and check into it. I see far more vandalism on the wikipedia each day, than I've ever seen on any other wiki. I've reverted several vandals from the wikipedia's crayfish page alone. A link from a wikipedia article to another wikipedia article, is more likely to be vandalized than an active external wiki. And if something is vandalized, it will be reverted. The word "substantial" doesn't have to be any set number then? If you have enough people around to keep it running smooth, then should be considered substantial enough to meet that requirement? And I do believe that those interested in those topics, would find those wikis to be of great interest to them. The links to both were recently deleted, after someone read my posts on this page about their existence. Dream Focus (talk) 03:48, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
We don't need hard limits because we're not robots. There is more than enough manpower available to evaluate these on a link-by-link, article-by-article basis. If you want the links re-added, you should argue for their inclusion on the relevant article talk pages. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:44, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
FYI, Dream Focus is now claiming that your two remarks above means that adding a Gantz wikia link is perfectly acceptable because he gets emails about edits on Gantz wiki and reverts vandalism on it, and that you basically told him that EL is invalid, because as long as there is at least one person undoing vandalism, the link is valid![15] -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:22, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I can only assume that Dream Focus's comment is some form of elaborate joke. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:41, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Not failing ELNO #12 doesn't give any website a free pass on all the other rules. For example, a wiki with only a few editors is essentially a personal website, which fails ELNO #11. If it's being added by a person significantly involved in the other site, then it fails WP:COI. If the goal is to attract more readers and editors to the wikia site, then it fails WP:ELNO #4. And so forth.
Any editor arguing for inclusion (of any external link) should be able to explain how it helps the general reader (who is, by the way, not a fan) understand the subject and how it advances Wikipedia's goals (see WP:NOT as well as the text at the top of WP:EL). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:35, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikis should almost never be linked to, for multiple reasons, as mentioned by WhatamIdoing above. Probably 99% of the links to wikis already on Wikipedia shouldn't be there by our standards on links. On top of that, our standards on WP:COI, etc. even more dramatically means that those links should not be there. Some guy who wants to link to his own site can't come here and then decide he wants to change WP:EL itself if he doesn't get his way. DreamGuy (talk) 16:49, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but i have to agree with Dream Focus, wiki links should be checked out before they are auto deleted, to determine if they comply with the exceptions in the guideline. Deleting links just because they are wikis, without first checking them seems flawed to me.--Legeres (talk) 18:50, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
No, the WP:BURDEN is on the person wishing to include material to show that it meets our standards. -- The Red Pen of Doom 20:26, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Links to wikis (or anything else) must be checked before they're added. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:39, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
how would one go about proving that a wiki fits within the exceptions of the guidelines? Not all wikis are fancraft, some have reliable info that is moderated for falsehoods and other things that don't belong.--Legeres (talk) 07:54, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
The same way you resolve any dispute. You vet the link and think it's okay. You add it. Someone else disagrees and removes it. You post to the article's talk page exactly why and how you think it complies with this guideline. For example, you say that the relevant rule seems to be "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors" -- but this isn't an open wiki, or it it's been active for a decade and has a thousand active editors, or whatever the actual facts are. Everyone double-checks the facts and compares the facts to the guideline. You have consensus when everyone more or less agrees whether this link does, or doesn't, violate the community's guideline. It's not usually very complicated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay that makes sense, thank you. On to the next question what qualifies as enough active editors? and enough time?(average wise)--Legeres (talk) 12:58, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
No hard rules have been established. I dare say that it veries with the size of the wiki, the degree of specialisation and the wider popularity of the subject. It is true that presently very few established wikis are considered to be uncontroversial in general, even ones like Memory Alpha which are at the top end of all three (long established, high user base, reputation for quality). Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 14:40, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

If we were able to provide reliable third party references saying that the wiki is stable and accurate as well as having the editor numbers to keep it that way, would that work in qualifying for the external link area? Or would it still be deleted on sight?--Legeres (talk) 13:13, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

External links noticeboard

I just started a discussion on the Village Pump about an external links noticeboard and I'm inviting feedback from those of you here that are involved with external links on Wikipedia. Themfromspace (talk) 14:21, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Links to Interviews with Article Subject

A change banning links to interviews with the subject of the article was inserted and reverted (pending discussion), so let's discuss.

Speaking for myself, I don't know why such an interview would be a problem. For highly-publicized subjects, there would probably be too many such links to make this a reasonable choice; but there would probably be pages you could find with lots of links to interviews, etc. However, for less famous article subjects, I think a long interview would be a fine thing to link to. So I'm curious, what's the rationale for banning them? Msalt (talk) 20:03, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I think the statement added was insisting of incorporation of information from such interviews into the article and use of such external links as references wherever possible rather than banning such links. It is a valid expectation that wherever possible the interviews of individuals are included in the article itself to avoid an extra external link. However, insisting on specific use of such links as references only thereby excluding them from external links section seems unnecessary. LeaveSleaves 20:13, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I see no reason for a blanket ban. For certain people there aren't many interviews from reasonably reliable sources out there, and so the one or two that exist are interesting and relevant. For famous people with hundreds of interviews I could see why one particular interview would make no sense, though. DreamGuy (talk) 20:15, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
An interview can be interesting, relevant and included in the article as a reference. Bearcat (talk) 21:32, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course. And it can also be an external link, despite you just unilaterally declaring otherwise. DreamGuy (talk) 22:15, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
There's no reason for it to be, and I'm not "unilaterally" declaring anything. Bearcat (talk) 00:24, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason for a blanket ban, nor even a discussion since the person making the change didn't bother to start one with a rationale for the text. 2005 (talk) 20:58, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
"Use such links as references instead of external links" does not mean "do not link to such interviews at all". It just means that the external links section of the article isn't the right place for them. Bearcat (talk) 21:34, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

To clarify: the statement was that such links are permissible as references, but should not simply be added to the external links section without an actual context for them. It's not saying that such links can't be added to the article — it's just saying that "External links" isn't the right place for such links to be added. This is not a "change", either, but a reflection of the policy as it's already applied, where the written policy simply hasn't caught up to the as-practiced-in-reality policy yet. Such updates simply don't require debate or discussion first, because they're already our actual policy-in-practice. Do you have some sort of misconception that a link that's used as a reference instead of being listed directly in the EL section somehow becomes inaccessible to the reader? Because it doesn't; it just means that the link is listed under "References" instead. Bearcat (talk) 21:30, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

While the initial part of the sentence you added may be common sense, the use of the phrase "but should not be added as plain external links" discourages addition of such links as external links, which is in no way the intention of this guideline. Such links can be added to the articles and only serve to add valuable additional resources within the article. If an editor wishes to use that link as an reference and remove it from external links, that's all right. But saying that they should not be added as external links is not right. Also it'd be appreciated if you do not add the sentence in question unless this discussion is resolved. There is clearly no consensus on addition of that sentence. LeaveSleaves 21:44, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Firstly, it most certainly is right that they not be added directly to external links; the purpose usually being pursued by people who add such links directly to EL instead of as references is as adspam for the publication. The rest of the policy is already quite clear that external links should be kept to a bare minimum of directly relevant links, not an exhaustive directory of every page on the Internet that happens to be connected to the topic in any way at all. The point is to clarify how such links can be added to the article without violating the rest of the EL policy.
And secondly, a user does not require permission to update policy-as-written to conform to policy-as-practiced, when the written document isn't specific enough about how the policy is already used. Policy-as-practiced is the actual policy; the written document is just a summary of the actual policy, which can be updated by anyone when it doesn't actually reflect the actual policy as practiced. The practice, not the document, is the determinant of what the policy is — the document is a guide to, not the determinant of, what the policy is, and the policy as practiced already is consistent with the statement under debate here. Bearcat (talk) 21:55, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, your idea of how the policy is currently used has been shown to be false by the other people on this talk page, and you clearly do not have consensus to make that change. DreamGuy (talk) 22:15, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
You are astonishingly incorrect in your assumptions. Interviews are fine as external links, period. They are linked all over the place by thousands of editors, and no guideline or policy has ever prohibited them. And obviously they should not be prohibited, especially in the case of more obscure people. 2005 (talk) 23:02, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
There's no reason for such an interview to be listed directly under external links instead being used as a reference. Absolutely not a single solitary one. Would you kindly stop setting up the false suggestion that if an interview isn't included directly under external links, the link somehow disappears from the article? The references section is still visible, still linkable, still accessible to the reader, which means that the link is still included in the article — it's just included under a more appropriate section heading. And I am not "assuming" anything; I'm reporting what I've personally seen a large number of editors already actually do with this exact policy cited as their reasoning. Bearcat (talk) 00:15, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course there are reasons, and this guideline has said interviews can be external links for years because there are many reasons and interview can be used as an external link, like extensive detail. You seem to be talking about something else entirely. Who is talking about something "disappearing" from an article? I believe you need to ask some questions here because your comments seem confused and don't make no sense. Under the right circumstances interviews can be cited as references (which is not the subject of this guideline), and under other circumstances an interview can be used as an external link. Looking back at some of your edits you do seem to be under some mistaken impressions, for example "official site" is an appropriate way to label the official site, and then also we do link to websites that are not official sites. This is the very, very longstanding practice of the Wikipedia, as stated in this guideline. 2005 (talk) 02:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Ahem. An interview cannot be used as a reference except under WP:SELFPUB. However, if it is used as a reference, it should not be used as an external link, per Wikipedia:External links#References and citation; unless, of course, that's the section you're trying to find consensus for changing. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:34, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Arthur Rubin, your statement is incorrect: The transcript of an interview on a radio or television show is perfectly acceptable as a published source. These are still interviews, even if they're not the particular kind of interview that you had in mind. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:45, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
An interview is not usable to support the truth of the statements made, only to support the interviewee saying them. That's not identical to WP:SELFPUB, but it's pretty close. 03:39, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
So if you publish the entire transcript of everything that the current White House Press Secretary (the official Obama spokesman) said about the administration's policies one day, then that isn't a reliable source for what the administration's policies actually are? But if a single line from the same press conference is quoted in a newspaper, then it is suddenly reliable? This is silly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:11, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I think your example would be why Arthur Rubin would say "pretty close" and not "exactly the same". If John Smith says in an interview "I am the greatest lover ever", we would not state as fact that he was the greatest lover ever, but we could say "John Smith claims to be the greatest lover ever" and use the interview as a cite. Citing the White house transcript for what it is what the White House says is its policy is fine, but it would not be fine to cite it for "The Employee Free Choice Act is a good idea." 2005 (talk) 22:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose What Bearcat seems to want already exists: WP:ELNO #1, which says not to dump things in ==External links== when it could be used to develop the article. The actual changes Bearcat made, unfortunately, clearly contradict other parts of this guideline (WP:ELYES #3, which specifically authorizes the inclusion of interviews in this section). The changes should not be made, therefore, as being both unnecessary and wrong. But, Bearcat, if you're having a problem with ELNO #1 compliance in an article, let us know. I'm sure you could find someone here that would help you weed a linkfarm. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:49, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm not clear on where Bearcat is coming from with this, but given how he/she has mentioned refernces/sources more than once, perhaps he/she is thinking that an interview that is mentioned in an article should not be listed in external links, but rather should be referenced, and that is standard practice... but the text added obviously is completely at odds with years of Wikipedia practice, as interviews that were not used as article sources can sometimes make fine external links, and this guideline has reflected that widespread consensus for years. 2005 (talk) 02:30, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Of potential interest, related to ELNEVER

I have launched a new wikiproject, Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup, which is connected to this guideline ala WP:ELNEVER at Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup#Special. I'd like to invite review particularly on the project guidelines for dealing with external linkvios there, though, of course, input on any part of that project is welcome. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

opinion request

I'd like to request the aesthetic opinion of the editors interested and involved in the External links guideline. The external links for a TV episode includes (a), (b) the IMDb, (c) the apropos fan wiki, and (d) the originating network's own page for the episode. As for d, the page contains a synopsis of the episode's plot, as well as a few stills from the filmes episode. I'm fussing over the wording of the last, and would like the input of the editors here who're moreso involved and interested in such.

Based on precedent (as I determine based on how other templates automatically format), I should think B is more in line, but is A more appropriate? Thanks in advance for any input! — pd_THOR | =/\= | 16:39, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

First and foremost, we aren't supposed to link to outside wikis in general, per the rules on the WP:EL page, so the A in both columns shouldn't be there at all. (I realize it's become common for people to mess up and ignore this rule, but that doesn't mean it's right.) And the official page should almost always be first, just as a matter of priority. The wording as n column B is preferable, as it's not strictly a review if it's the official site. DreamGuy (talk) 16:59, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Would the Battlestar Wiki not be exempt as a wiki with "a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors."? It's my opinion that it would, but I don't know if there's any specific criteria for such a determination. I agree that the official link should be first, thanks for that input. Thanks for your time! — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:04, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I think inclusion of Battlestar wiki would be okay here. As pd_THOR puts it, the wiki can be considered as one containing good information. The ordering needs to be changed though. I'd say the link to wiki should be the last one. And linking both and IMDb looks needless. Link both only if you fill both provide different information. LeaveSleaves 17:08, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll look into the links more in detail before deciding whether they're all needed, thanks! Do you have an opinion on the formatting/wording of the link? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:12, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd say either is okay. Also put that link first as DreamGuy suggested above. LeaveSleaves 17:16, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Most wikis fail the #1 criteria on our list of links to be avoided: "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article." Wikis about specific fiction shows are the prime offenders here.. DreamGuy (talk) 20:19, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Most wiki's of this sort provide far more leeway for in-univerese information then Wikipedia does, so it possibly cannot fail #1. EdokterTalk 18:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying you are looking to make a generic template for all TV shows, if so, don't. That would be a terrible idea since it is way too broad a subject area. If you are just talking about only the BattleStar article, then nevermind. 2005 (talk) 20:56, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Uh, no, I'm mainly just asking about the formatting and aesthetics of the link with regards to its content and the links already formatted around it. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 21:42, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't put the name of the website in ALL CAPS. Other than that issue, I have no preference between the two choices (and agree with everyone else about listing the official website first, and ditching anything that doesn't provide at least some unique content). WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:41, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


Keeps reverting my updates to the sources and external links, which is against these guidelines. I see no reason to use the old .org when the website has moved to a Wikia ( There is no need to rely on a second domain, or to make use of the redirect domain. All links to the .org domain get a HTTP 301 response, user hasn't give many reasons for this; User_talk:Charitwo#Edits.--Otterathome (talk) 07:01, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Blacklist this at meta, the site is problematic, all redirects to the site can safely be blacklisted and users can use the proper domain-name. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:14, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I've tried getting the interwiki removed to the .org domain, see meta:Talk:Interwiki_map#uncyclopedia. But no response.--Otterathome (talk) 14:19, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Site with social networking elements

An editor is trying to insert links to a Bible site (and in some case replace references to with his link. He says it is " a mashup of the Bible, social networking elements and a topical search engine for the Bible. Unlike some of the other bible sites, Just1Word is completely a ministry site without a theological position that it is trying to advance. It is not attempting to bring new community to people like social networks, but merely utilizes tie-ins to the social networks to allow people to discuss the bible." This is the home page [16] and the account page of the site: [17]. I think it fails WP:EL easily, but am bringing it here so he can defend it. Dougweller (talk) 16:26, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

My initial thoughts: it is quite apparent that the site is primarily intended as a social networking venue based on common interests (in this case The Bible). Now for the Bible part of the site, I doubt if that part is any superior to other sites. I'm not particularly familiar with Bible-related site, but I checked out the one mentioned above, BibleGateway. That site is just as good, if not better, than Just1Word's Bible portion. In fact it has many more language versions available for searching. So, in my opinion linking to homepage of Just1Word is definitely not acceptable. As for linking the Bible part, I don't see the need since there are superior site(s) present. LeaveSleaves 17:14, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I concur with LeaveSleaves. As primarily as social networking site, it fails WP:EL. And though it has bible verses which would be fine, there is no need given that we already have this resource in BibleGateway. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 18:33, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I am the editor in question and do not want to cause a big ruckus however... according to WP:EL biblegateway used to comply because it was not-for-profit site without a commercial motive but now it fails WP:EL because it has been sold to Zondervan to promote the sale of materials from Zondervan (see biblegateway wiki). Links to biblegateway now fail WP:EL -- Zondervan has extensive ads throughout biblegateway to sell their products. WP:EL states under "Links to be avoided" include (#5 Links to web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services, or to web pages with objectionable amounts of advertising. For example, in the mobile phone article, don't link to web pages that mostly promote or advertise cell-phone products or services.) The links to just1word that were inserted by the editor were not to the homepage, but to relevant verses and the book for the article (i.e., for "Genesis" a link to the book of Genesis was provided, not the homepage.) I agree that content on Just1Word is not substantially different than biblegateway, but there is no advertising, teaching or agenda at Just1Word or social networking in accordance with the WP:EL People on Just1Word cannot meet strangers or exchange thoughts on topics in a social network -- the profiles there are for private communications between friends and would never be linked to wikipedia. Bpmiller (talk) 19:47, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I see no evidence of "objectionable amount of advertising" anywhere on BibleGateway. It's practically non-existent on main or mobile site. Could you provide a link where, as you are saying, there's excessive promotion of products unrelated to Bible? LeaveSleaves 20:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Again, I concur wiht LeaveSleaves. While there is advertisitng on the site, it is not on an objectionable scale. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 20:53, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

I concur that the advertising on Biblegateway is related to selling their bibles and related materials, but how is this NOT in contravention of the 5th guideline for WP:EL which states " Links to web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services" should not be used. It goes on to say "or to web pages with objectionable amounts of adversting". Therefore if the purpose of Biblegateway is to sell products then it definitely fails the first part of the guideline regardless of whether it fails the second or not. Bpmiller (talk) 22:30, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

The advertising is obviously commercial; however, ELNO 5 has to do with the nature of the entire site. By your understanding of the policy, no site with any advertising would be admissible. Clearly this is not the case. Anyway, we are not discussing Biblegateway, we are primarily discussing your site. Attacks on exisiting WP procedure will help your case about as much as your repeated reversion of the edits of established wikipedians, admins among them. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:36, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that the primary purpose of Biblegateway is to sell products. I think it is primarily a reference site that happens to run a few ads and advertise a few products for sale on the side.
If the editor in question is connected to the disputed site, then it's time to invoke WP:COI, which is strictly enforced with respect to external links. You must not add your own site, and you must respect the decision of other editors about accepting/rejecting it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:43, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
ELNO has no problem with sites selling stuff, or carrying advertising. The text says "primarily". If a page is 80% adverts, it has a problem. if a page has relevant and meritable content, plus some ads, it does not. 2005 (talk) 00:06, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


I don't know if this has been brought up before, but would tutorials be okay to add? I'm referring specifically to the article on Ajax (programming). I didn't see any mention of tutorials or "how-tos" on this page so I though I'd ask. (Maybe this should be mentioned?) — FatalError 06:17, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Does the link otherwise comply with this guideline? If so, I think you should suggest it on the article's talk page, and let the regular editors at that page make a decision. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:55, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd support inclusion of such link so long as the host is known for good quality information and the intention of such tutorials is primarily for educational purposes. Seeing as we discourage adding how-to information in the article, a good external link can certainly serve the purpose. LeaveSleaves 07:06, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Well the problem is I don't know if a tutorial can be considered to contain "neutral and accurate material" or information. I don't know if it would be appropriate to include educational material, since it doesn't really increase the reader's understanding of the topic other than teaching him/her how to do it. That's why I asked. We don't have tutorials on, say, the algebra article. The link on Ajax (programming) in particular isn't exactly a "good quality" source IMO, but I'm mainly just asking about tutorials in general (in my case, specifically in programming-related articles). — FatalError 08:14, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
When we are talking about a tutorial, the work is intended particularly to teach the reader and of course it won't necessarily increase the understanding of the subject. That's the reason they are discouraged here. But that shouldn't mean that a good quality external link should be denied on similar grounds. Also when I said educational purposes, I meant that the site shouldn't have a commercial angle in getting users to visit the site. e.g. only a part of the tutorial is available for free reading and rest has to be paid for. LeaveSleaves 10:23, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something, but how does teaching someone how to do something NOT "increase the reader's understanding of the topic"? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:29, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Tutorials aren't appropriate because they're not "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article", as specified in point #1 of "Links normally to be avoided". Our highest-quality articles on programming languages contain little if any direct tutorial-style material. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:09, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
The first point in "Links normally to be avoided" should be considered when an article is becoming an FA. And in any case, FA or any other articles would have (or should have) minimal tutorial like content since that is against WP:NOTHOWTO. In such cases a value EL to tutorials could be a good addition to the article. LeaveSleaves 14:41, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
The key words here are "unique resource". This is typically meant to mean the subject's official home page (as it is "unique"), or some other canonical and irreplaceable source. Tutorials aren't generally unique - any widely-used programming language will have dozens of good Web-accessible tutorials. They're appropriate for dmoz, but not for us. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:35, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I think that there isn't a clear Wikipedia-wide rule that will always apply to every possible tutorial. Therefore it's probably best to avoid WP:CREEPing generalities on our part, and to allow the regular editors at an article make their own decision (with, of course, reference to whatever aspects of this guideline appear to apply to the specific link). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:11, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not looking for a rule that applies to all tutorials, I'm just asking whether or not (in general) tutorials should be added to articles on programming languages/frameworks. I understand that there will always be exceptions, but I don't even know where to start, really, hence the reason I'm here.
Would a tutorial add anything to the article that can't be found by Googling, for example, "Ajax tutorial"? Or is that an invalid question? — FatalError 23:25, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
{{Wikibooks]] has lots f tutorials for programming language and that is the place for them. Links to tutorials are acceptable in Wikipedia articles but only if it's the best darn tutorial on the web.filceolaire (talk) 01:30, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
In general, we don't have a general rule at this time. If you and other editors at a page think that linking to a specific tutorial is good (for any reason that satisfies you and doesn't directly conflict with something on this page), then feel free to link it. If you don't (for any reason that satisfies you), then don't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:35, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Alright, point taken. Thanks. :) — FatalError 22:49, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

CongBio and FJC Bio templates in External links

I have been working on bios for United States federal judges, both creating new ones and improving old ones, and I have been adding Template:FJC Bio to the external links section. This template calls up a link to the particular judge's page in the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain repository of information is maintained by the the Federal Judicial Center, which is a non-profit, non-commercial quasi-governmental agency. It is modeled on Template:CongBio, which similarly calls up a link to a non-commercial database on individual members of Congress.

I have been told that the use of these templates violates WP:EL, as the sites linked ideally contain no information not already in the article, and in some cases the same sites are already linked as references (albeit not with the template, and its notice of the public domain status of the source). If this is a correct statement of the policy, then I would like to propose an exception to the policy be written to accommodate inclusion of the above templates in the external links section. Cheers! bd2412 T 00:20, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Templates should follow this guideline, not the other way around. Just remove the link from the template and there is no problem. If there is nothing unique in the template, get the template deleted. 2005 (talk) 02:53, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The template essentially is the link - and there are now over 12,000 articles using these templates as external links, including a number of featured articles. bd2412 T 04:08, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Your critics are right: the links violate WP:ELNO #1, and they do not qualify for the "official website" exemption from that rule. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:44, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Then another exemption should be made. For most federal judges from the first 200 years of the country, this is as close to an "official website" that exists, or is likely ever to exist. I imagine the same must be true of many early short-serving members of Congress. bd2412 T 07:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I would say it counts more as a reference than an external link. That said, I see no problem with using external links for general (rather than specific) references. A possible solution: Incorporate the link to the FJC into some kind of infobox, like how IMDB/IAFD/etc. links are incorporated into actor/pornstar articles. However, I see no reason to tell the reader it's public domain; the reader likely doesn't care. As for "templates should follow the guideline, not the other way around," that's kind of a dismissal of the arguments. Guidelines can be wrong and can be rewritten as needed. --Golbez (talk) 07:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I would generally not object to having the link in an infobox (although I've seen scads of IMDB links in external links sections). The reason for the public domain tag is that at the moment, most federal judge articles are bot-generated almost-verbatim copies of the FJC information, and failing to note that their content is not subject to copyright would amount to a copyright misuse, which would jeopardize the GFDL. Although this is not a concern in articles that have developed away from this information, or did not begin by importing it, those articles represent a relative handful of the total cases. bd2412 T 09:23, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
My two cents: the link shouldn't be unfairly promoted in this manner, especially through the use of a template. Themfromspace (talk) 07:59, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The links lead to a non-profit, non-commercial database sponsored by the U.S. federal court system itself. The FJC database is quite likely the only place where all of this information is compiled in a searchable format (it offers a functionality that even Wikipedia does not, at least as of yet, in allowing searches cross referencing things such as appointing president, type of court, date of confirmation, cause of termination, etc.). bd2412 T 09:23, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Basically, it's a simple, excellent, free-to-use primary source, and thus should be linked somewhere, and if not as a specific reference, then as an external link. --Golbez (talk) 16:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If "guidelines can be wrong", then an argument can be made for changing the guideline as a whole, not making an exception. We have the sole exception that official sites can do what they want. It is WP:CREEP to a mega-extreme niggly exception for this situation. If an excellent case can be made for a specific link on a specific article, fine. For example, when there is no official site for something, often something pretty close to official is a very valuable external link, so it could be looked at with a more flexible eye. In this case, it's pretty clear there is no reason for a general exception, but it might be possible for more obscure people the link could be valuable. So, such links should not be in a template. (And of course a link like this should never be in an infobox.) 2005 (talk) 08:16, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Then I would suggest a similar general exception for "webpages about public officials located in non-commercial, non-profit, databases of information maintained by the government or agency thereof responsible for maintaining information on those officials". bd2412 T 09:23, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Just as the bioguide is the pseudo-official site for information about congressmen, so this seems to be for judges. and 2005, if this link should never be in an infobox, what about IMDB/IAFD links? I could go with it not being in a template, or, maybe, have a template but only use it for substing, for simplicity. --Golbez (talk) 16:24, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
IMDb links in infoboxes violate this guideline, and there is a consensus to remove them. I don't know the status of that fight right now, but at most templated infoboxes should include official site links, not anything else. 2005 (talk) 22:04, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I don't think these links, on their face, violate WP:EL. While some of the information on the Bioguide is incorporated into the article, it doesn't necessarily mean all of the information is incorporated. Per WP:ELNO #4, the bioguide entries often include trivia and other information not suitable for inclusion in the article. I think the main problem here is not the link, but that for many early congressmen, editors took shortcuts and simply copied the Bioguide text and made that the article. Bioguide is poorly written in summary style, and definitely is not up to WP standards. The solution, then, is to improve the article and expand it to include non-bioguide information, rather than removing a relevant external link like the Bioguide.

Also, is the objection to the link or the use of a template? As far as the template goes, we need a standardized way to display the link on all congressmen articles, and WP:EL urges the use of external link templates for links to standardized database sites. In addition, Template:CongLinks is the new version for members of congress from 1991-present, and includes much more in the way of information pursuant to WP:ELNO #4, including detailed voting records, campaign funds, issues tracking, and other relevant information not suitable for inclusion in articles. Template:CongBio is depreciated for all but the earliest members of congress, since information and official sites about them and their service on the internet is sparse.DCmacnut<> 16:44, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

But Template:CongLinks incorporates Template:CongBio, and thereby includes the link to the sparse Congressional Biography pages - if this rule is to be enforced, then links to the Congressional Biography pages must themselves be eliminated from "External links" sections, no matter how it is that they have gotten there. bd2412 T 19:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Several points:

  • WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is a tediously repeated and entirely unconvincing argument on this page. For example, the mere fact that one website may, in some instances, be used in a way that violates this guideline is not an excuse for violating this guideline in the instant case. (Mentioning such problems on this page is very likely to set a couple of anti-spam people to rooting them out, though, so I particularly recommend not using this weak argument for any links that you think are appropriate.)
  • Whether you link to a site using a template or by hand-coding the link is unimportant. We don't care. We care about what happens to the reader when they click the visible link.
  • We don't care if the database is "non-profit and non-commercial". Their profit-arranging system is wholly and completely irrelevant. We care about its content, not its tax paperwork.
  • If the contents of the Wikipedia articles are more or less swiped from this database, then you are not talking about an ==External link==. You are talking about a ==Reference==, and you must list it as such to comply with WP:Verifiability.
    • The ==External links== section is for links that you would introduce as, "If you liked this article, you can learn more about this subject by clicking here."
    • The ==References== section is "The information in this article came from the following sources." If you used this page as a source for facts in the article, then listing it under ==External links== is not sufficient or appropriate for Wikipedia's policies (and probably not sufficient for GFDL rules, either).

Hope this helps, WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:36, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

We care about templates in particular because a template should not exist that should never be used. The link of course is more important, but when templates exist novice editors think they can use them for anything. If some sites can soemtimes be an external link, but usually can not, it is not a good idea to have a template for it. 2005 (talk) 22:04, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is a valid argument in this case, because the base templates in question were developed over many years of consensus building at Wikiproject Congress. The templates have a valid use, and are there to prevent having multiple, non-standard ways of linking to the same source. What I take the above comments to mean, though, is that the problem is the classification of the link, rather than the link itself? So, if these are all listed under a References heading they are OK, but if listed under an External Links heading they are not? I thought the guideline existed to advise on how any external link is treated, no matter where it is put in the article. I support guidelines, but guidelines can change and strict adherence to them in all cases is in conflict with ignore all rules. These links are "meritable, accessible and appropriate to the article." If they are misused in some way, we should work to correct the misuse, rather than banning a whole subset of links used in hundreds of articles.DCmacnut<> 02:37, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I created this template as a simple way to link articles to their corresoponding entries in the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. This whole conversation strikes me as an ultra-legalistic approach to the External Links guideline. Very often, the Federal Judicial Center's website is the only source of complete biographical information on these judges. Plus, it is a free, public domain source. This strikes me as one of those "ignore all rules" type of situations. --Eastlaw talk ⁄ contribs 03:26, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Certainly not. If "very often" it is "is the only source of complete biographical information" on the judges, then it should be used as source and not an external link. This is the type of situation that the guideline was made for. 2005 (talk) 03:44, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, OK then, so we'll just list under "References" rather than "External links". I don't see the problem with using the template in this manner. --Eastlaw talk ⁄ contribs 04:21, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
External links templates should only be used for external links. Citation templates are suited for references. 2005 (talk) 04:26, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Would you prefer that I recategorize {{FJC Bio}} as a citation template rather than as an external link template? Would that solve the problem? Seriously, I am asking you here, what would you have us do? --Eastlaw talk ⁄ contribs 04:33, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I'd have you list your sources under ==References==, so that people will know that they were used to develop the article. If you have questions about how to cite your sources, then you might ask at WP:Citing sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:21, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I've moved about 2,000 of them from "External links" to "Sources" - will finish tomorrow. Cheers! bd2412 T 06:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Is there any difference between using "References" and "Sources"? I generally only use "References" for actual dropped footnotes. bd2412 T 20:11, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
==Sources== is deprecated because it could mean so many other things (see Source), we have perfectly good alternatives (like ==References== and ==Footnotes==), and because source has a specific definition at WP:V that is a bit more expansive than a citation. If an article is using inline refs, I'd probably just add an inline ref at the first appropriate place. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
In this case,hey will do perfectly well as "==sources==", because, as said just above, it can mean almost anything that it is necessary to have it mean. But they never did violate WP:EL. It is not the only source of complete information, but the most convenient source of information, and that fits equally well as an EL or as a reference. However, there's something said above that is totally wrong--which is that if something needs an exception, we must not do it, but rather change the necessary guideline. Guidelines by their very nature are intended to admit of exceptions. See Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. The purpose of having them is to deal with the general run of things, not to cover every eventuality. in every case, there remains a real policy, which is WP:IAR -- if something in the rules is a hindrance to improving the encyclopedia, ignore it and improve the encyclopedia. I am not one of those who invoke this frequently, but it's proper use is in dealing with special cases or something novel.
Objecting to these was another example of what I call "external links paranoia". If there is a public free accurate source of information on the subject and it serve to extend the material of the article, then we should use it. The more sources/links/whatever of this sort we can find, the better, and we should add them everywhere they apply. DGG (talk) 01:56, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Your mischaraterization of what I wrote is beyond silly. The purpose of guidelines is state the general consensus of editors. Exceptions can be made, but the burden is on those advocating the exception to make a case for why an exception can be made, and then gain a consensus to that effect. We don't need to change a guideline for an exception. Where could you possibly get that? Also it is plainly wrong to say "If there is a public free accurate source of information on the subject and it serve to extend the material of the article, then we should use it." We have policies against copyright violations and so on, and Wikipedia is not many things that could improve an article. We should NOT add things that violate the policies of the encyclopedia. IAR rules is not each editors own personal fiat to do anything they personally judge is best. The encyclopedia runs by consensus, and is not intended to be a constant fight between people hiding behind IAR to be a dick. 2005 (talk) 06:13, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
It's been pointed out several times in the above discussion that the websites at issue in this instance are in the public domain - which I think DGG addressed in referring to "a public free accurate source of information". Ergo, there is no possibility of a copyright violation, except to the extent that the GFDL would be invalid if Wikipedia tried to restrict downstream users from copying that public domain information. The websites at issue contain tersely presented but fairly complete biographical outlines of the subjects - where they were educated, what occupations they had prior to serving in Congress or on a court, respectively, and how they came to be in the public office that it the bailiwick of the database, and usually the source of the subject's notability. In short, any Wikipedia entry on the subject of one of these webpages would be incomplete if it lacked any of the details provided in these webpages. bd2412 T 06:25, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I generally agree with your comments here, but the big deal in this instance is that you must WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT. It's asserted above that this website was used to write the articles. You must therefore cite it as a source instead of dumping it in the ==External links== section as if you had never drawn on it when writing the Wikipedia article. And once you do that, this guideline is essentially irrelevant (and many more important ones, like WP:V, WP:RS, WP:CITE, etc., apply). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I see nothing wrong with these links and would urge that they be retained, and indeed, that their use be continued and even expanded. Among other reasons for this, please note that in addition to the factual content contained in the Congressional Biographical Directory or Federal Judicial Directory biographical entry on each legislator or judge, the entries also contain listings of books by and about the individual, as well as a directory of locations of manuscript collections relating to the person—information that often is not included in the Wikipedia article or included only in summary form. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:23, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Nobody is advocating removal of the links. However, it is much better to use these reliable sources as references, and to develop the articles with all the desirable details, than to dump them in ==External links==. That's the whole point of WP:ELNO #1. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification/reiteration. Please bear in mind that the fine points of a given guideline or policy may not be readily apparent even to fairly experienced editors who have not previously dealt with that particular policy. This suggestion makes excellent sense, and although I can't say that it's a top priority to move these references from one section of each article to another, I will urge that we do so over time as the articles are edited and follow the practice as articulated for future articles. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:48, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I think that's great. Ultimately, I hope that the links will really be "fully exploited" to develop the article, because they sound like great sources. That's definitely something that takes time and significant effort instead of a simple cut-and-paste. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Coming late to this topic, but I was the person removing the templates (would have come earlier had I been informed). But I only removed the templates from those articles that already incorporated the info into the article AND already HAD the link to the FJC or CongBio in them in the references section. Thus, and only then, was it a violation of EL. There is not an objection to the link, only in how it was being promoted despite existing guidelines prohibiting this type of promotion of links already used as sources. Aboutmovies (talk) 22:27, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

URL starting with https://

I want to use this link as a reference but it includes a few odd characters that messes things up when the html is parsed. Anybody know a way around it? The link leads to a public archive. EncyclopediaUpdaticus (talk) 16:08, 27 March 2009 (UTC)[0]=&ProcessID=6000_1980(0)&KeyValues=KEY_89436

  • [0=&ProcessID=6000_1980(0)&KeyValues=KEY_89436]
Here you go. I've replaced the square brackets with their percent-encoded equivalents. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 12:58, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! That works great. EncyclopediaUpdaticus (talk) 13:49, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Reality check

Hi. I'm here to make sure I've been understanding our guidelines correctly. Over at List of liqueurs, there is an editor who noticed that there were a lot of liqueurs that were red links, and he went out and found sources verifying the existence of these liqueurs, and added them to the article. Here is one iteration of the edit in question.

Now, I've been arguing on the talk page that we don't link to commercial websites from our articles, at least not links to pages selling products that we don't even have articles about. The editor who wants to add the links has argued that my reading of the guideline is wrong, and that these links are very useful, because they verify the existence of certain liqueurs, and they could help someone write a proper article in the future. I tend to think that this argument is outweighed by the whole "no commercial links" thing, but I might as well ask here.

If I'm right, that such links are deprecated, then the other editor might want to know that. On the other hand, if I'm wrong, and if you can say why, then there's someone at Talk:List of liqueurs who would be very happy to hear from you. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:48, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

There is no such rule saying "no commercial links," the rule states that such links are "to be avoided." I do avoid them, at all costs, except when links of a commercial nature are unavoidable in order to have the most thorough and encyclopedic article on a given subject. This is usually the case for consumer products (including commercial foods and beverages), popular culture products, musical groups, etc., which are not well documented in print media but for which there are numerous Internet sources. We just have to be reasonable and judicious in our use of external links as references, and to evaluate each case on an individual basis, using reasonableness and thoughtfulness in our discussions regarding the merits of each link. What more (or less) could we, as long-time editors ask of our colleagues than careful discussion regarding the use of such links? Badagnani (talk) 04:42, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that's the problem. The question shouldn't be whether commercial links are allowed or not, but whether those particular liqueurs should be listed at all. It looks more like a question of notability of the drinks themselves than the appropriateness of the links. If the notability of a certain drink cannot be proven, it should be removed from the list.
For those drinks that are notable but simply don't have a Wikipedia article (there should be very few), commercial links commercial links should not be used. In general, if the only information you can find on it is with that certain commercial link, it's probably not notable anyway, and thus should be removed. My two cents. — FatalError 06:05, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
This guideline does not cover sources, so its not the right place to ask. What the editor is doing though is improper if the "source" is unreliable. Personally I'd get rid of all the redlinks. 2005 (talk) 08:35, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The difficulty here is that, unlike a lot of other subjects, liqueurs (except for the very most famous ones) simply are not covered widely in print media. Further, specifics regarding liqueurs' ingredients are typically only provided in the ingredients lists provided by the manufacturers themselves. This is somewhat the same case as soft drinks. People like to drink liqueurs, but generally not write about them so much (at least many of them) in books, have tastings, etc. So we do use the best links possible--non-commercial in most cases, but commercial where those are the best and only links available to verify the existence, ABV, ingredients, etc. of these liqueurs. We have a responsibility to our users to provide the most thorough and encyclopedic articles possible, and for this one it doesn't assist our readers to delete many liqueurs because some editors do not like the best references available for them. Again, this is why the guideline states that commercial links are "to be avoided"; it does not say "...must never be used." The reason is that our project's editors must always maintain reasonableness as the foremost trait, in editing articles for our users. Badagnani (talk) 17:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I think there are 2 issues that are being conflated here. The commercial web cites are being used as Sources for the article and are therefore not subject to the WP:ELNO. The question becomes whether or not as first party sources they meet our WP:RS requirements, and that discussion belongs elsewhere. -- The Red Pen of Doom 17:35, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, if the only information available about a liqueur is from a website that sells it, then we don't need any information about it, because it's non-notable. I've suggested to Badagnani that it would be fine to have those links on talk pages of red-pages, for the benefit of someone who wants to write said articles later, but Badagnani seems committed to having those links live on the main List of liqueurs, driving traffic to those commercial sites and upping their Google rank. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:42, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Again, the guideline says " be avoided," not "...must never be used." We must be reasonable in everything we do at WP, keeping our users (and providing the most thorough and encyclopedic article possible for them) foremost in our minds. Your opinion that a given liqueur is non-notable is just that--and to top it off (no put intended), actually we've so far had no discussion about any discrete link or liqueur, though I have requested such more than 12 times. That represents a breakdown of our project's fundamentally collaborative and deliberative process. Each reference should be evaluated, thoughtfully and with care, on its own merits, exercising reasonableness at all times. Yes, such discussion does take time. Badagnani (talk) 17:52, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree that there's likely a question of notability here. But that question should be discussed elsewhere on Wikipedia.
On EL v. RS discussions, lists seem to be more in-line with how an external links section would normally be built rather than an article using citations for prose - so I feel an argument can be made that EL is more appropriate that RS as an appropriate question for that component of the use of links.
On the last issue brought up, re: "driving traffic to those commercial sites and upping their Google rank", I don't see where that should fit into our discussions. First, Wikipedia uses nofollow tags in all external links; and even if we didn't, Google is a seperate website outside of the control of this site - how another site runs their systems shouldn't be a concern in discussions here. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:55, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Do we have nofollow in our articles? We didn't used to, and that was definitely a consideration. I know a lot of Wikipedians feel strongly that we're not here to drive traffic to commercial sites, and that people often object to such links on those grounds. The idea seems to be that we don't want to do their marketing, while a lot of companies really want us to. If I'm way off-base about that, then oops. I'd like to know for sure. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:05, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
If you use Firefox for web browsing you can confirm this by right-clicking an external link and choosing "properties", the window that pops up will show for external link in article "relationship: nofollow". It doesn't look like IE provides that detail about the links, not sure about other browsers. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:36, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
The nofollow tags have been in place since January 2007. - Eureka Lott 18:43, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
It's kind of a moot point anyway, as the copious amount of mirrors do not necessarily use nofollow tags, and getting links into Wikipedia articles do result in very real increases in Google rankings, whether it be thanks to the mirrors, mention of the name even without the link, or from visitors seeing the links and then linking to the sites themselves. Promotional links are still promotional. DreamGuy (talk) 18:45, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, we do use corporate websites where they are the only ones with the information we need to cite. For example, see the use of PepsiCo websites as references at the Pepsi article. I would not advocate removing those where they are the only, and best references for the information cited, although the PepsiCo website is primarily a for-profit website of the company producing Pepsi and other PepsiCo beverages. This is why discussions must focus on individual links and individual text referenced rather than making blanket presciptions based on our guideline. Badagnani (talk) 18:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
In an article about a company, of course we link to the corporate website. That's very different from linking to pages that sell specific prodcuts, just to prove that those (non-notable) products exist. Very, very different. If you want the discussion to focus on specific links, then you're very free to make that happen. If you decline, it's because you're happier w/ the current situation. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:26, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
In many cases we do link to the production company's website for liqueurs, where that reference is the best or only link available. However, the problem is that many liqueur manufacturers do not even have websites, or, if they do, have no information about that liqueur. Many of them, for example, have lavish Flash animation yet none of it is substantive; it's targeted to the party drinkers, and thus the content is superficial and has nothing about the liqueur's ingredients, history, etc. Thus, the only available online references are second-tier websites that either sell or explain about the liqueur, often listing the ingredients or whatever. In every case, the references added were the best and most informative available. Those of us who edit this page regularly knew all of this, and if editors are truly interested in this subject, they'll learn these vagaries, which are of course different for every page. That's why careful and deliberate discussion really are always extremely helpful. Let's have the editor who wished to remove the links select a liqueur whose reference s/he wished to remove to begin discussing. Badagnani (talk) 18:35, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
"In many cases we do link to the production company's website for liqueurs, where that reference is the best or only link available." Examples, please. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:38, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Why not delve into the removed links yourself (as I had asked at least 14 times be done with care and seriousness prior to their wholesale deletion)? There are very many. One is this one, verifying the Copa de Oro liqueur. I think this one is fairly new. Like many other liqueurs, most of the online sources, predictably, are of the manufacturers/distributors themselves, as well as various informal websites.[18] It's not really a scholarly subject, thus we use the best links that can be found; in this case, the link is comparable for those of the PepsiCo website we use at Pepsi. The link provides, from the producer's official site, the nation of production as well as ingredients, which are bits of information we need for the List of liqueurs article. We're not using it to source a claim that it's the "best tasting" liqueur or anything like that; simply to verify its existence and to verify information about its ingredients. Badagnani (talk) 18:40, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Why is Copa de Oro notable enough to cover in Wikipedia? Doesn't the topic have to be notable? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:44, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Because, following our notability guidelines, it is one of the most notable and widely distributed examples of its genre (coffee liqueurs). Badagnani (talk) 18:45, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
How do you know that? Which independent sources say it? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
This is easily verifiable. Are you trying to "get my goat" here? I am a long-time editor with an expertise in this subject; we trust each other on matters of expertise, as I defer to editors with greater knowledge in a given subject than I (and often seek their advice when editing a page in which I have lesser expertise). User:Shabbychef, for example, is the closest thing to an expert one could find for Amaro (drink), and I would always defer to him on this particular sub-specialty within the field of liqueur studies. Badagnani (talk) 18:48, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I am absolutely NOT trying to get your goat. I would never do that. You asked for discussion with "care and seriousness", and that's what I'm giving you. You want to accuse me of trolling?

The point I'm trying to make is that we only want information that is verifiable in reliable, independent sources. Whatever independent sources say about Copa de Oro liqueur, we will cheerfully report. Anything that you have to go to a website selling it to find out, we don't want. That's not an independent source. Am I wrong? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:52, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The above shows that you are either not reading the above comments carefully, or selectively disregarding some of them. The guideline enumerates links to be avoided, but where such links are the best available (as with the Pepsi article or Copa de Oro, which you did not even mention, despite my going to great lengths to answer your previous question), reasonableness dictates that they're used for the purposes of verifying a liqueur's existence, nation of production, and ingredients. As I mentioned at some length in regard to another of your earlier questions, the subject of liqueurs takes some ingenuity of sourcing to provide the most thorough and encyclopedic article possible, as, aside from the very most famous ones, liqueurs are a subject most often covered in Internet sources rather than in scholarly publications such as books (you didn't address those points either). Actually addressing these points would be highly valued. Badagnani (talk) 18:54, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I directly addressed the Pepsi question above. I'll reply at more length. The information in the Pepsi article is not verified via the PepsiCo website. The information comes from independent sources. See all the independent sources at the bottom of the page? Those are the best available. We include the link to the corporate homepage - not a page directly selling Pepsi, for the sake of completeness. It's a very notable corporation.

Look at the order here: 1 - We use independent sources to write an article about a product. 2 - Having done that, we can link to the homepage of the corporation making the product, not to a page selling the product. Step 1 has to happen before Step 2. If the only source available is not independent of the subject, then the subject is non-notable, by our in-house definition of notability.

Have I addressed the points you wanted me to? Please let me know what I still haven't addressed. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:02, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

A link to the homepage of Heaven Hill distilleries, maker of Copa de Oro, in an independently researched article about Copa de Oro would be entirely appropriate. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:10, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Please take the time to read the Pepsi article carefully, not just skim it. A look at the actual references shows links such as these:
Thus, this comment:
is not accurate. As with any article on a commercial product, particularly food and beverage products, we use the best sources available, and, if necessary, from the producer itself if that is the best available, as in the Pepsi article. In the future, please read articles referred to in Discussion with more thoroughness before commenting. Badagnani (talk) 19:15, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

(Undent) I want to say two things about this topic, just for future reference by the involved editors:

  • WP:RSN is the right place to have this discussion.
  • WP:N does not apply to individual items in a list.

Beyond that, I think this discussion can be closed (here) as the wrong forum. If no one objects in the next day or so, perhaps we'll even archive it by hand in an effort to keep this page on topic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I would not object to archiving it. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:01, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


I've posted this question at WT:RS#List of liqueurs, as suggested in the above discussion. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Links in the Mod (lifestyle) topic

Having encountered problems in adding a link to this topic (and following subsequent discussion of this matter) I have come to appreciate that Wikipedia is purely an encyclopedia consisting of text information about specific topics - indeed Wikipedia's policy specifically says it's not a directory. On the basis of this understanding I would like to propose that, rather than a list of links at the bottom of the topic, a single well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations relevant to the Mod movement is used - such a directory is readily available at the Open Directory Database [19] and in fact all of the links already in place in the Wikipedia topic are already listed in this directory, plus several other useful links!

If this is agreed, suggestions can easily be made to the Open Directory for further inclusions in this listing, whilst the Wikipedia topic remains undisturbed - with just a single link to that listing.

I have started a discussion on this matter in the article's discussion page but there has been little activity on the page recently

Thanks for your consideration Glasgowmods (talk) 11:53, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

'harmless' redirect sites

I recently set up the linkwatchers and COIBot to detect redirect sites. My primary aim was there to catch the tinyurl-lookalikes, and I have already caught a couple of those. It also catches the more regulars which apparently can be misused as redirects (one can set up blogspot to be a redirect ..). All these have been (meta-)blacklisted on sight.

However, I come accross some which are 'the other way around', and I am not sure what to do with them. I mean, addition of (example links) to Jimbo Wales as the official homepage (which seems quite appropriate), but where redirects to The guideline now expresses it as "It is generally preferred to link to the exact destination of a link. For instance, if is an automatic redirect to, it is better to link to the exact page, even if the webmaster considers the redirect address to be more official.", would I be correct in 'correcting' that edit (to ' Jimbo Wales on MySpace')? Additionally, would the redirect site be up for blacklisting as it can be abused? --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:21, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

The rules appear to be designed with the assumption that the target will always remain, but that a person might not choose to keep the domain registered. That is, will always exist, but may disappear.
However, it could go the other way: What if the MySpace account is closed, and is moved to its own server? If you blacklist, and this scenario occurs, then we'll have the actual website blacklisted and a dead link approved.
I therefore don't think that you want to blacklist the sites. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:09, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, blacklisting is necesserily forever .. but I see the problems on two sides. If the myspace gets abused, then that may be blacklisted, but the redirect to it is still there, free to abuse (though I would now have a good chance of detecting that). On the other hand, indeed, what if Jimbo decides to pay a bit more, and make his own site, and store it at, then it is suddenly a blacklisted site .. I'll try to apply common sense to it.
What about replacing the redirect with the proper link? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:13, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with your 'common sense' and good judgement approach. As for replacing the redirect with the target, I have no idea. It might be a good choice, and it might not. I think you could follow the rule you describe above, and freely ignore it whenever you thought it was reasonable or appropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:43, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Pay sites

The guideline says sites that require subscriptions should be avoided. What about sites that have a mix of free content and subscription content? Some sites have both free articles/content and stuff that is only available to subscribers. For those sites, do we just avoid the subscriber content but are free to link to the content open to everyone? TJ Spyke 01:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, if there is free content (substantive, enough to link to on its own) and it otherwise meets our criteria we can link to it regardless of whether other sections require payment. Strict "no link if the site has any pay-only content" would mean ruling out links to good sites like the New York Times, etc. DreamGuy (talk) 13:37, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Also, it is anyway good practice to link to the official page of the company on the company page here, but linking to the information for which a subscription is needed should be avoided. Indeed, excluding the whole site would be a way too strict reading of the guideline. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above comments, and add only that these statements apply to ==External links==, not to ==References==. Convenience links to pay sites are just fine for references. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Question about inclusion of link to specific site/EL in biography

Is this the correct board to ask about whether a certain EL should be included in an article, or is this board only about improving this project page? I am specifically wonder whether inside a biography EL section, a link should be included to a web based research group that lists articles that has the subjects name appearing in those articles. The web site is not directly related to the subject of the bio per say. Thank you, Tom (talk) 02:36, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Is the group by any chance an attack group on the subject? Does it do more than any user could do with Google Scholar or Google? We need the actual example. DGG (talk) 04:04, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm betting it's this link:
in Jake Tapper, which needs someone with a clear notion of WP:NOT#LINKS to weed it, as it contains not just his bio, but also his blog, his twitter feed, his personal website, and more.
Tom, if I've guessed correctly, then the link is unacceptable for several reasons, including WP:ELNO #9: "Links to any search results pages, such as links to individual website searches...". WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:05, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes WhatamIdoing, you guessed correctly and also great minds think alike :) I sort of came to the same conculsion, but it took me about 4 days to figure that out. Anyways, better late than never I say. Aren't the personal links OK? Thanks for both your feedbacks, I apprecitate it and might get more involved with EL sections in the future...once I am done cleaning up all the See also sections of course :) Cheers! Tom (talk) 04:25, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
It depends a bit on what is meant by a "personal blog", but generally, no. People are not usually notable for, say, celebrating their birthdays or meeting a friend for coffee, which is the sort of stuff that's usually in a personal blog. You want the fewest number of 'official' websites possible listed (because Wikipedia is not a web directory). I don't think that it's possible to justify a Twitter link under this guideline. For the others, you need to figure out which ones link to the others, and remove any duplicates. For example, if the ABC bio page links to his ABC blog, then you don't need to provide the link to the blog. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:40, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) This still is an "issue". Can other uninvolved folks please comment as to whether this link is appropriate for the Jake Tapper article external links section. Thank you, --Tom (talk) 16:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

An (persistent) editor has cited in attesting that Domenica Dominica has the highest crime rate in the world. While they get no award for petty crime, they are screamingly not a "high crime area" and almost famously non-violent. I don't know whether this is invariably peculiar to, but I thought I would report at least this one instance to see if anyone else is having the same problem with data from that site. The site is not obviously biased when glancing at it. Student7 (talk) 14:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the proper venue for your query would be WP:RS/N, since you seem to be worried about the reliability of the contents and use of that site as a source. LeaveSleaves 15:00, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Domenica is a rock band. If they have the highest crime rate in the world that's be remarkable. And isn't Nationmaster just primarily a mirror of Wikipedia? DreamGuy (talk) 16:14, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Dominica - Student7 is editing both, hence the confusion. Here Nationmaster is using as their source "Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000" which is a bit old I'd think. Dougweller (talk) 16:25, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Specifically the site is odd data from nationmaster. I've looked at the other data on this specific page and it all looks really funny with New Zealand, Denmark and Finland being the places to avoid; Jamaica and Columbia being the places for tourists looking for safety!
Thanks LeaveSleaves, I'll post on RS/N.Student7 (talk) 22:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Poll: autoformatting and date linking

This is to let people know that there is only a day or so left on a poll. The poll is an attempt to end years of argument about autoformatting which has also led to a dispute about date linking. Your votes are welcome at: Wikipedia:Date formatting and linking poll. Regards Lightmouse (talk) 09:21, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Glowsticking links

There's a discussion on the talk page [20] where someone wants to add a link which pretty clearly fails WP:EL. Until a minute ago, there were 2 links to another site, which I've combined into one -- but I am not at all convinced it passes WP:EL - what do others think about [21]? Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 17:54, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Twitter proposal

Twitter feeds, while fun and very 'of the moment', are IMO not encyclopedic resources. It's not really something you can click on and learn more about a subject. Basically, it's a one-way chat forum. Nearly half of the Twitter feeds on Wikipedia are actually outside the mainspace (don't panic when you check out the 1100 existing links) and some are duplicates, but there are maybe 500 links in articles as either refs or ELs, and the quick sample I checked had pretty poor quality. For example, February 2009 Victorian bushfires has a twitter feed from a local radio station. If you click the link, you'll see traffic tie ups in the local area, without one word about the disaster. (Oh, and this one is a visible external link in the body of the article, no less.)

Many times, the Twitter feed is being listed simply because it exists, without bothering to see whether it's already linked in the official website/official blog/official everything else list that is being crammed in to bios. I propose that we update WP:ELNO #10:

10. Links to social networking sites (such as MySpace and Facebook), chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups), USENET newsgroups or e-mail lists.

to include Twitter feeds (possibly placing it between Yahoo! Groups and USENET). As being explicit about their "normally not accepted" status represents a change, I'd like to hear comments from anyone interested in this issue (ideally for several days before we make any changes). Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Unless it's the ONLY "official website" of someone notable enough for a Wikipedia article, I can't see how ever linking to a Twitter feed would make sense. DreamGuy (talk) 16:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, Twitter links are quite like MySpace or Facebook links, and should usually not be linked (unless they are, in some way, the primary and official website of something/someone). --Conti| 16:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I had recieved different interpretation when I asked about the twitter link at LeVar Burton. Someone indicated that they interpreted twitter as a type of official blog. [22] (I had missed OrangeMikes reply).-- The Red Pen of Doom 17:27, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking of the twitter feeds of Barack Obama and Stephen Fry as examples where a number of published sources refer to, and discuss the use of, these feeds and/or the individual is particularly famous for using twitter. Perhaps the easy to apply rule should be that they are never allowed as you can generally add links to the published sources that refer to the feeds if they are significant with the only exception that such links are allowed when the twitter feed is featured and directly discussed in a section of the article?—Ashleyvh (talk) 11:45, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
If the Twitter link is discussed in the article, then it can be listed as a ref in the article (and therefore is not needed in the external links section).
Overall, it sounds like people support adding Twitter as an example in WP:ELNO #10. Does anyone have a significantly different interpretation of the above? If not, we should update the guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:01, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
As the Stephen Fry BLP has a long standing external link to twitter (his official site is separate) I have raised RfC: Is Stephen Fry's twitter link an exception to WP:ELNO and so far the consensus is to keep. Famous twitterers with tweets that are widely published may be an useful exception to mention.—Teahot (talk) 17:55, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
An official site can possibly always be an exception. That is in the guideline already so no need to add further language to cover this situation. In general though, except for a person's official page I can't imagine a Twitter link ever being an appropriate external link. 2005 (talk) 21:56, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
And in the case of multiple "official" sites, if the Twitter link is easily accessible on another, it should generally be skipped (just the way you skip any other "official" page that is prominently linked on another official page). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:29, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Random lists of books rather than random lists of links

Is there anywhere in Wikipedia that there is specific guidance for lists of books tacked on to the article as "Further reading"? It appears to me that such a list needs to be guided by the same principals as adding links to external sites - perhaps even more so because readers of Wikipedia will have a much much harder time accessing particular books than they would clicking on a link. -- The Red Pen of Doom 11:49, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Further reading#Further reading contains the guidance. (Found with the search at Help:Contents.) If in doubt about a particular item in these sections, ask at the talkpage, or consult your local library (same as for any offline reference). Note that we do not have a preference towards using online references (see Wikipedia:References#Links and ID numbers) - it's merely an added bonus if it's available online. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
It's very poor "guidance". Reccomended books that may be useful, gee. But since they are not external links this really isn't the page to discuss it. 2005 (talk) 21:31, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
It is not unrelated. some articles have done similarly to External inks practice, giving a selected list of readily available current English books that provide the best view of the general subject at various levels. If there is need for specific less available works to document the details, that should be left for the references. If it is desired to list older or classical works beyond that, they are listed separately--but normally they can be covered best as references to the section of the history of the subject. A complete unselected bibliography of whatever can be found, taken usually from a library catalog without respect to utility, generally without having seen most of them, does not benefit the reader, any more than a total list of all the available web sites would. Those web sites can be just as well found directly on Google, and the books on WorldCat. A carefully selected list is what is wanted. I cannot emphasize too much that this is different from references, which must document everything needing documentation, by using the best sources in whatever language and the best ones in english. DGG (talk) 03:17, 20 April 2009 (UTC)!

Comments sought on External YouTube link

Your views are welcome on the subject of adding an External link to the Susan Boyle article. Talk:Susan_Boyle#RfC:_Should_the_Susan_Boyle_article_include_an_external_link_to_a_youtube_video_of_her_4.11.09_performance_on_Britains.27s_Got_Talent.3F SunCreator (talk) 22:03, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

YouTube, yet again

Timeshifter is removing the extremely important point that links to YouTube "would happen infrequently" and is making a claim that consensus was to change it. I've done a search of the archives of this talk page, and I see nothing to support this claim whatsoever. In fact I have seen an overwhelming majority (something like four or five to one either saying explicitly that that text should stay there or saying that the wording should remain "as is", and the wording of the page at the time included this line). Based upon what I see as a clear consensus, and because it's very important to setting the expectations that these links should almost never be used, I am restoring it. If Timeshifter would like to remove it, he's free to demonstrate an actual consensus to do so, if he can. DreamGuy (talk) 17:27, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

No, you are free to show an actual consensus to add it. All consensus has been for "due care." I participated in a recent discussion concerning this. There was no consensus to add this. Someone snuck it in without consensus.
DreamGuy ignored this compromise by Conti: [23] --Timeshifter (talk) 18:06, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
You are either misremembering or misrepresenting this discussion. First off, "due care" is still included, so this is not an either/or situation. Second off, it wasn't a question of adding this line, as it, in one form or another ("would happen infrequently" or "would be infrequent"), has been on the page for a long, long time. You were the one to remove it, and you did not have a clear consensus. In fact it was clearly overwhelmingly *against* you.
And I'm not sure what you hope to prove by claiming I "ignored" a compromise that was merely bolding a line and still removing the phrase that had overwhelming support.DreamGuy (talk) 18:28, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the comment. We don't know in advance whether it happens frequently or not, nor can we prognosticate about a rapidly shifting commercial business here in a guideline page what the frequency is of copyvios. Also, we shouldn't highlight one site or another. The comment to be careful about formats, selective in linking, and watch out for copyright violations applies to all user-submitted video sites. Actually, all user submitted content sites. Consensus is established descriptively, not prescriptively, and I've never encountered a consensus to tell people in advance what format a file is in. If there is that is a style issue and we should link to some instructions on a template to use. Wikidemon (talk) 18:47, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Given that videos are such a problem, I think the Wikipedia:External_links#Restrictions on linking reminder is very, very helpful. --Ronz (talk) 18:56, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
That particular thing is a style point. Shorter policy / guideline pages are more effective. If you need to emphasize it, it works a lot better to figure out how to actually word it more forcefully. Saying it twice or creating internal links within articles doesn't make people do it more readily, it just makes more for them to read. Wikidemon (talk) 19:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
What on earth do you mean that we do not know in advance whether it happens frequently or not? Based upon the history o this talk page we know that it's almost impossible for a video link to meet our criteria. Hiding that point seems to want to slant the perception. If readability is a concern we can remove a good chunk of the recently added text, as that just repeats the rest of the page. DreamGuy (talk) 19:34, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I consider the "infrequently" issue to be a matter of well-known and trivially verified fact: In actual practice, video links are only infrequently accepted into ==External links== sections. Such links are almost always reverted. Additionally, such links always violate WP:ELNO #8, so they are always deprecated (which is different from banned: if there's a particularly good reason to violate ELNO, it can be done, but you must have a particularly good reason for it).
I object to the complaints about the inclusion of this long-standing phrase as being anti-consensus, but I'm not sure that it's necessary for us to report these facts in that section. Rather than continuing the discussion about "infrequently", I think that it might be better for WP:YOUTUBE to redirect to #Rich media (instead of a sub-sub section) and to restate WP:ELNO #8 in that section so that editors are more aware of both the labeling requirements and the reasons why it is deprecated-but-not-banned. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:04, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Very few links of any stripe are suitable for articles. I don't agree that videos are almost impossible to meet prescriptive guideline points here, as opposed to other links, and prognosticating on how frequently external video links might abide by the guideline is pure speculation. It depends greatly on the subject matter. If the same content is available by rich media or text (e.g. a transcript versus an interview) we would go with the transcript. If the problem is truly that we want to keep Wikipedia usable by not calling on external applications we should just say that directly, and not conflate it with copyright issues, which are present in any external link. Wikidemon (talk) 21:43, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
You may have noticed that we do say that we want to avoid rich media links: It is plainly stated at WP:ELNO #8. Do you think that this should be repeated in the WP:YT section? I don't mind intraguideline redundancy in the service of busy editors that might not like to read through the entire page to find the couple of relevant lines. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:41, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
While it may have been an issue at one time, I don't think we need to worry about whether users have Flash installed. The program has 99% market penetration. - Eureka Lott 19:08, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Does that market include all the people using elderly computers over dialup connections, such as many people in developing countries or even rural America have? The point is not whether most of our readers in America have the software; it's an issue of whether Wikipedia is going to remain accessible to people on the other side of the digital divide. Filling articles with links they can't reach, or graphics they can't process, or files they can't download is a subtle way of saying "Wikipedia is only for those with better resources."
Ultimately, it's a personal-values issue: I value those readers. Not every editor does, and that's not necessarily a bad thing: What's good/helpful/accessible/friendly to that reader may be dull/boring/stuffy to an "entertainment addict". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Last major discussion concerning YouTube had a rough consensus of "due care." --Timeshifter (talk) 18:04, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

The term "due care" was supported by all sides, so you can't say a consensus for "due care" language means a consensus against pointing out that such links would rarely / infrequently fit the criteria. If you look at the comments above, that was also well supported. It's very clear from the criteria on this page that it's extremely unlikely a video link will qualify, and I don't know why you so desperately want to avoid having that pointed out to people who come here.... other than that your comments on this talk page make it very clear that you want YouTube links that do violated these rules to also be included, and that apparently you ignore these other rule and ignore what other people say to try to rewrite the page so people can add links that do not fit our rules and claim ignorance. DreamGuy (talk) 18:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
You can add me as a voice that supports language specifically letting editors know that most youtube links will not be suitable entries. -- The Red Pen of Doom 19:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
And me (for any video link, not just those hosted at YouTube). The video I most recently encountered duplicated the content of a single paragraph in the article -- only it took them three minutes of low-quality, but high-resolution graphics to say the same thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
A few spam fighters does not a consensus make. Several previous discussions have had many people who disagree with the regular spam fighters who camp out here. There are thousands of official YouTube channels where the copyright is not in question. "Due care" is the only rough consensus. See also: Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos --Timeshifter (talk) 11:39, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
And one person ignoring and/or misrepresenting what everyone else says does not make consensus either. You've been consistently told your version is wrong, so you have to accept that. Refusing to is just violating a clear consensus. DreamGuy (talk) 16:53, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
See reply farther down.
As I said below, copyright-issues are by far not the only thing that should be looked at:
  • WP:NOT#REPOSITORY -> we are not a linkfarm
  • Intro of WP:EL: "... other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy..." -> often the video is just an example, it does not always add something to the wiki.
  • WP:ELNO 7: "Sites that are inaccessible to a substantial number of users, such as sites that only work with a specific browser or in a specific country." -> these videos require bandwidth, that is something that here is common good, but not everywhere, there are many users still using dial-in.
  • WP:ELNO 8 -> "Direct links to documents that require external applications (such as Flash or Java) to view the relevant content, unless the article is about such rich media. If you do link to such material make a note of what application is required." For the modern windows machines the site works fine, but I wonder if it works under downgraded systems (old windows versions?), is sensible under text-only browsers, or for people who have to use screen-readers
  • WP:ELNO 16: "Links that are not reliably functional, or likely to continue being functional. For example, links to temporary internet content, where the link is unlikely to remain operable for a useful amount of time." -> It is a hosting service, can we be sure the links stay there forever? That the video's don't get deleted or renamed?
  • WP:COI: Regularly editors add their own videos -> Not something to be encouraged.
  • I would argue, there are videos which are also hosted by the original organisation. Though this is not strictly a 'redirect', I would prefer to link then to the original source, even if copyright is not an issue.
  • If copyright IS a problem, it simply should not be linked.
All in all, Youtube is rarely suitable or encouragable as an external link. Count me in for the "Due care"-term, it still is a good way to describe this type of media (and not only youtube, this goes just as well for other sites, whether they are containing video or not). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:23, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Then we agree. "Due care" is the way. Each YouTube link must be examined on a case by case basis. Very few links of any kind, not just YouTube links, are suitable for external links. So the "rare" or "infrequent" phrasing should be put at the top of the quideline page, and not in the YouTube section. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
YouTube links and other video links are going to be much more rare than any other link because the fact that it's a video means it has far more ways to violate our rules on links. DreamGuy (talk) 16:53, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
No, the official link of the organisation is often, or frequently, a suitable external link, YouTube or Blogs are rare, or infrequently suitable external links. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Rare: IMO, if a type of link is appropriate for less than 1% of Wikipedia's articles, then it is rare.
There are more than 2.8 million articles on Wikipedia. I sincerely doubt that there are 28,000 official channels on YouTube. Furthermore, I expect that a significant proportion of the official channels on YouTube are also prominently linked on the regular official website, and we don't provide YouTube/MySpace/anything else links that duplicate easily accessible links from the regular official website.
Therefore it is appropriate for YouTube links to be described as "rare". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:39, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Official channels contain hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of videos on every topic imaginable. Beyond official channels there are millions of totally legal, user-submitted videos that have no copyrighted material in them. They cover all kinds of events that are covered by wikipedia. The Commons contains videos of all kinds. Videos are of historical interest, too. The Commons also has audio clips of all kinds. We link to those audio and video clips from the commons.
When I had dialup internet access I was able to view many streaming videos, and listen to many streaming audio clips. Sometimes the streaming video was not at the full frame rate. It depended on the bandwidth required for that particular video, and how good my internet connection was at that moment. If I was getting above 40 kbps bandwidth from my dialup connection the video streamed fairly well. If not, it was choppy but still useful. The audio was usually always fine. Even if the video was like a slide show it was still informative. On all kinds of subjects. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:12, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Still, if it are 140,000 official channels connected to 140,000 articles here on wikipedia (5%!), then that does not mean that we have to link all 140,000, as we are still not a linkfarm, and large file like movies are less accessible for lower bandwidths or older computers ("When I had dialup internet access I was able to view many streaming videos", yes, but now since more people are behind fast computers, the movies have become bigger, and use new compression algorithms which may not be available on old computers, when I was behind my old 14k4 I would not dream of downloading movies), etc. etc. So of these 140,000 still only a few would pass other parts of the guideline. And of the other 85% still several will not be copyighted etc. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:29, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Most Youtube videos are accessible by dialup. I know that some single-purpose-account spam fighters are disappointed by all this, but the official channels from established, notable organizations, and from established news media organizations have hundreds of thousands of videos. Also, 14.4 kbps modems are ancient and almost no one uses them. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:25, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I again ask you to assume good faith, and yes, you are right, 14K4 modems are hardly used anywhere, in the US and Western Europe. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:27, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

So we have multiple editors above saying that "rare" is perfectly acceptable wording, and accurate, and necessary, and we have one editor who keeps removing it anyway. At this point I think his edits are bordering on vandalism, as he is inaccurately representing what was said in his edit comments to try to force his view onto the article. When you are outnumbered four to one it's ridiculous and deceptive to claim you have a consensus. Now that this fact has been pointed out to you, any chance that you made this edit out of ignorance will no longer apply. If you misrepresent consensus again you will be out and out lying to try to edit war your way into getting what you want and I will look into getting you blocked form editing if that's what it takes. this cannot go on. DreamGuy (talk) 16:53, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Do you make this stuff up as you go along? Multiple editors in this thread and previous ones have spoken against, and removed, the "rare" and "infrequent" wording. In this thread Wikidemon and Eureka Lott have spoken against some of the various reasons for "rare" and "infrequent". --Timeshifter (talk) 19:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Hmm .. I think that "reaching 99.0%" missed halve of the sentence: "used by over 2 million professionals and reaching 99.0% of Internet-enabled desktops in mature markets as well as a wide range of devices." (emphasis added), and is from Adobe itself, not exactly a outside source. And I still have to install it before I can use it! Multiple editors have spoken against 'rare' and 'infrequent' ... though I agree it applies to most rich media which gives files of considerable size (not only youtube, also other sites, and including e.g. huge PDF files), I am one of the editors who do think that those words indeed describe quite well that linking to such media gives often rise to problems with several parts of the guideline (and more than other user-submitted content!). --Dirk Beetstra T C 22:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Survey info:
As for "mature markets" the survey is conducted quarterly in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Japan.
It does not matter how big the Flash file is on YouTube since it is streaming video. --Timeshifter (talk) 22:36, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Streaming video means that you don't have to download the entire thing before you can see the first bit of video. It could still be entirely inaccessible to a person using an elderly computer on a bad dialup connection because of the length of time that it takes to download even a small part of it. Flash files do not magically become small files just because it starts playing the video before it finishes downloading it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:12, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
The total size of the flash file is irrelevant. Most people with dialup can view YouTube videos. See my previous, more detailed comment concerning this. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Timeshifter, you are right: 'Most people with dialup can view YouTube videos.' It is only going to take them hours of dialup time to get the whole video through. Therefore, the total size of the file is relevant, media files, even in compressed form, being mp3-files, flash files, or whatever a) are big, and take a long time on old computers and/or with a dialup (not to mention the cost it implies on downloading those files, not everyone is on a flat fee connection), and b) can NOT be played on every computer, mp3 files because of copyright issues of the codec, flash files still need an installed Flash player, and though a lot of people do install that player, it is not standard. And the survey is done in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan, which (apparently) excludes the whole of Africa, large parts of Russia, China, billions of readers in just the areas where glass-fibre internet may not be available. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
See my reply farther down. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:47, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to understand how a free flash player, and an almost universal music codec could even fathomably be considered under the "not everyone can" rule. Not everyone can properly view every website either because of brower too -- does this mean we can't link to any more modern sites that use shockwave, flash, etc? Even my fully updated XP using the latest Firefox has trouble with some sites. Not everyone can use PDFs either, I imagine, nor can they use OGGs (which we use in WP). With your attitude, one might as well kill any EL that isn't an official one or a simple plain HTML one with few graphics (gotta think of the dial up users, right?)̲, which would be ironic because it's usually the official sites that are the most modern and flashy in the first place. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:36, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
You forget that people who read wikipedia have a browser capable of reading HTML, and readers of HTML are available since the beginning of the www, even text-only versions exist, and have no problem with wikipedia text. Flash is an add-on, as is the adobe reader, and especially the former are not available for text-only browsers. There is nothing wrong with the target as described that the content has to be available to most readers. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:04, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I think you completely misunderstood my comment. I mentioned "simple HTML" because it IS the standard, as opposed to some extra stuff which not all browsers might support. What I was saying is that if you want ELs that 'everyone' can access, then you're going to have to limit it to simple pages, which is really silly. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 13:15, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
No, we don't want to limit, but some sense on linking to big files is still worth thinking about. Even wikipedia does it, if our pages become too big we try to split them. I think that is what the guideline says in WP:ELNO 7 and 8. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
YouTube is available to most people with internet connections. Most have Flash installed. Most dialup users can view YouTube, too. The total size of the YouTube file is irrelevant since it is streaming video. They start viewing it after a small amount of buffering time. I had dialup for years. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:59, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Those figures come from Adobe itself, and no, it is not (totally) irrelevant, if you want to see the whole movie you still need to download all of it, which is even more true for large files which are not streaming. I also had dialup for years, but we are now further, the movies have increased in size, and hence that is not a good comparison. We are now not discussing youtube anymore, but you clearly disagree with other parts of this guideline as well. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Dialup users don't need to download the video to view it. Neither do broadband users. Very few people download the videos. Most people just view them as they stream. I am focussing on how the guidelines effect YouTube. Most people on dialup can still access most YouTube videos. Many YouTube videos now have a button to increase the video quality, and thus the bandwidth required increases at that higher quality setting. The default setting though is still accessible by dialup users. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:38, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Wait a minute, are you now saying that the data that results in displaying the video that I see on my screen here, does not actually come through my cable, but it stays on the other computer? Wow, I have missed a whole bunch of technology improvements here? Many ISPs must be disappointed that they have increased their bandwidth, because we don't need to push all that data through it anymore. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see the problem. I may be using a too restrictive definition. When I say "download the video" I am talking about downloading the whole video first before viewing it. Streaming the video does not require downloading the full video first. From Uploading and downloading: "Downloading is distinguished from the related concept of streaming, which indicates a download in which the data is sequentially usable as it downloads, or "streams," and that (typically) the data is not stored." --Timeshifter (talk) 17:12, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
So, we do agree that if the video on YouTube is a flash-file of 10 Mb, that the whole 10 Mb has to be pushed through the cable. And for those users who use a dial-in connection, that that is going to take time, a lot of time? --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:44, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
YouTube videos are of varying length. Most videos are only a few minutes long. People can watch as much or as little as they want to watch. You can also move to any point in time in the video to watch it. By dragging the button at the bottom of the video to that part of the video. There is a short rebuffering time, and then you are watching from the new location in the video. It is not necessary to watch the whole video at all, or in sequence. Try dragging the button ahead in the video and you will see what I mean. - try any video. Many people don't know they can do this. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:41, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
That is true, but if you link the video, then it means that the video adds something to the document (see intro of WP:EL, otherwise it would still violate the guideline). That means, that if the video is of interest, most of it will pertain to the document, and people should be able to see the whole of the video (and, like users on a high-speed, you won't know which timeframe to switch to to know which part is of interest for you, so actually, you need to see the whole of the video to see what part is of interest). What I am asking is, the link that leads to the video gives the video in a standard size, I have been looking around on some of those pages, but there is no indication of size there (I may have missed that). If the video is of interest, and the reader wants to see the whole of the video, then how long does that take for e.g. a 1 minute video on a 56k6 modem at full throttle (if I see it correctly, this can't be compressed further, so we are talking about 56 kbit/s, which is 56/8 is 7 kb/sec, is 350 kb/min. So it would mean that 1 Mb takes about 3 minutes, hoping that the speed is constant)? --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:37, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course, the video has to be relevant to the Wikipedia article. For some videos the whole video would be relevant to the article. A simple example would be music videos for specific songs that have wikipedia articles. Another example is famous political speeches. Such as the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King (MLK). See:
Other videos, as you say, may not be totally relevant to the article. Maybe only part of the video. In that case people may want to indicate at what time in the video the relevant part starts. The slider button at the bottom of the video can take the viewer to that time. The time point is indicated on the right side of the slider. For example; MLK's speech begins at around 55 seconds into this video that has over 6 million views:
A one minute video always takes one minute. The underlying kilobits per second does not matter in this regard. The video may go to a lower frame rate at times depending on network congestion and how good the local dialup connection is. But the video still takes one minute. If you have a really bad dialup connection that day the video frame rate lowers further, and can become like a slide show. The audio is almost always fine even when the video frame rate lowers. All the text in the world can't really duplicate watching an MLK speech, even at a low frame rate. That is why encyclopedias include videos. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:30, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, what I always see it that the movie stops, the 'download' goes on, and then the movie starts again. That suggests to me not that the video goes to a lower framerate, but that it still downloads the whole movie, every single bit of it. So to see the 1 min movie, it takes sometimes longer to get all frames. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:22, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes if there is network congestion, stressed servers, or other bit-rate lowering, the video will stop for a little bit and "rebuffer." Sometimes if there is too much stuff running in the background on one's computer, then that also can cause some hesitations. So it is possible to have lower frame rates, and some hesitations in order to rebuffer. With dialup connections it is helpful to keep stuff running in the background to a minimum to lessen these problems. On a broadband connection it is very possible that the full video will be downloaded in the background in the first 10 seconds even while the video is playing at the full frame rate. This is especially true at the default video quality setting. But my statement about a one minute video taking one minute to view is accurate for the most part, give or take a few rebuffering hesitations during difficult situations. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Clarification: Depending on the default bit rate of the video dialup users may have to wait longer for it rebuffer. It has been awhile since I had dialup and so it is likely that there are more videos using higher default bit rates. In any case dialup users can view them too. They can click the play button and see how long it takes to buffer. For dialup users it may be easier in some cases to just download the video in the background rather than to stream it at first. I have figured something today that I didn't completely understand before. Once one is on a YouTube page it automatically starts downloading the video in the background whether one clicks the play button or not. Clicking the pause button does not stop the download. It justs stops playing the video. It continues to download even while one goes and looks at other web pages. One can see the line get darker across the slider path. That indicates the part of the video that has been downloaded so far. Clicking on any part of the darker path allows one to start viewing there right away. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:09, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Another point of info for dial-in users charged by the minute. As I said previously when one opens a YouTube page in a browser tab, and then goes to other web pages in other tabs, the video keeps downloading. Even if you hit the pause button on the video. One can go offline and play any part of the video that was downloaded before going offline. So even dialup users charged by the minute can see YouTube videos. It doesn't matter if one goes offline before all the video was downloaded. One can view what was downloaded. Just click the video play button, or on any part of the darker part of the slider path at the bottom of the video. Broadband users can test this out by going to a YouTube page and pulling out your broadband cable before the video is fully downloaded. Or click "engage internet lock" if you use the free Zone Alarm firewall. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

"Emerging markets" penetration of Flash players

The survey [24] has this methodology page,, that says this: "The study is conducted in several other countries including mainland China, South Korea, Russia, India, and Taiwan every other quarter."

Here is a page that has info for those parts of the world:

98.7% penetration in China, S. Korea, Russia, India and Taiwan. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:02, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

That sounds quite OK then, should ELNO 8 be removed from the guideline? --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:43, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
It is an out-of-date rule. The Flash part of it should be removed. I haven't studied the Java issue. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:31, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
If that does not involve big files, as you state above, then indeed, it can be removed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, great! --Timeshifter (talk) 17:26, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
But I think we just established above, that for large video's on YouTube (or whereever a big file is located, but video is generally large), people on a slow connection will have to wait a long, long time before they can admire the whole of a, say, 10 Mb Flash (how long is that on a 56k6, and how big is the standard file on YouTube for a movie of 1 minute?)? So it is not impossible for them to see, but, at the very least, quite a hurdle? --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:44, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
See my reply higher up, too. Since it is streaming video you can start watching the video almost immediately, and you can jump around in the video and start watching from that point almost immediately (after a little time to rebuffer). Videos are of all lengths from less than a minute to much longer. Most are a few minutes long. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:46, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Timeshifter, you're still missing the point. If it takes 30 minutes to get 10 MBs' data to your desktop computer, then you cannot just jump around in the video. You cannot, one minute after you click the link, skip to the point in the video that will reach your computer 20 minutes from now.
Furthermore, video is always inaccessible to blind readers, just like audio is always inaccessible to Deaf readers. It would be remarkably unfriendly to encourage these links (especially without warning: Imagine tying up your computer for ten minutes only to discover that the link is utterly useless to you). (I would support the inclusion of more important examples in ELNO #8, such as the occasional ActiveX-type page that only works on Microsoft Windows.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
With YouTube videos you can drag the slider button below the video to any point in time in the video, and start viewing there after it rebuffers. It takes longer on dialup to rebuffer. See streaming media. You may not have read the more definitive discussion in the previous talk section. Please check it out. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:44, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
We now have indeed solved one part of the big files problem (at least for streaming media, other files still need to be downloaded in full, and downloading a 10 Mb file over a dial-in is not fun (and however you turn it, those are still used in significant numbers, and I would really think twice before downloading these pages while having to pay for my dial-in, and there are other cases where users don't really have the possibility to download huge files). Flash indeed seems quite OK for that (and Flash seems to have quite coverage, though 2% of Chinese inhabitants with internet may still be several millions of users who can't use it). But then the other issues, video and audio are not really useful for blind and deaf people, respectively. Though many movies do have copyright sorted out, quite a number still don't, they still have to add something to the page (not being a mere illustration), quite some edits to user contributed content have coi problems, and the linkfarm problems. I still see numerous problems which gives me the feeling we still are much closer to 'it is rarely a suitable external link', than 'often it is a suitable external link' ... --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:34, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Dial-in or dial-up internet is paid on a monthly basis, and there is no limit on time or kilobytes in nearly all cases. See Netzero for example. $10 a month for unlimited access. And it is hard to download huge amounts anyway since it is capped at 56kbps. We don't limit external links only to those pages suitable for deaf or blind people. Copyright is sorted out on a "due care" basis. Same as for text pages. Plus there are hundreds of thousands of videos, even millions, on official channels alone. And there are millions more videos with no copyrighted material at all in them. On every topic imaginable. Just like the images and videos on every topic imaginable at the Commons. Videos are another form of images, and we don't say that pages with images are "rarely" or "infrequently" suitable as external links. Single-purpose-account spam fighters don't a consensus make. Consensus is for "due care". Most other people commenting on the YouTube issue do not agree with the "rare" or "infrequent" phrasing of full-time spam fighters, and the "external links paranoia" (as phrased by User:DGG on this talk page) of a minority of spam fighters. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:09, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Timeshifter, I get the feeling you are talking about America. Other countries do not necesserily have a flat-fee system on telephone lines (IIRC, British Telecom charges you per minute, just like using your mobile phone "Calls to UK landlines in the evening 1.45p/min, during the day 4.5p/min"). And I don't know, if you read the above discussions, there are still people who do think that these links are rarely/infrequently suitable. May I also know what you mean with Single-purpose-account spam fighters? --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
And yes, if external links are not suitable for deaf and/or blind people, then that would be a reason to limit them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:09, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Full-time spam fighters are those users with user contribution pages that indicate they mostly remove spam, or deal with spam topics. The people on per-minute dialup have to decide for themselves how to allocate their download time whether they are downloading/streaming music or video or whatever. That is their choice. There is no consensus for "rare" or "infrequent". The consensus is for "due care". --Timeshifter (talk) 15:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I concur, Timeshifter, that you appear to have a strong cultural bias towards those who have high-speed and/or unmetered connections, which is still by no means all of those we seek to serve. The United States is not the world; the American upper-middle and higher classes are not all of America. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:25, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I am poor. I don't pay for the broadband I am using. I had dial-up for years. I watched many YouTube videos on dial-up. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Regardless though, it sounds like you have little worldwide experience as in the vast majority of countries, timed access is common both for dialup internet access and for the phonecalls necessary to use dialup Nil Einne (talk) 14:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Please see my latest comment in the previous talk section. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
If I see this thread, I don't think we have arrived at consensus, and if there was previous consensus (I don't see the thread).. well. And due care does not exclude infrequency .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:22, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Dirk Beetstra here. I don't think there is often a good reason for such links, but there often is a good reason not to have them. Dougweller (talk) 15:27, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
What reasons? What you are saying is true for any links. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
No, I already told you, there are certain links which are welcome, others which may be welcome, and some which are seldomly welcome. It is not true for every link .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:43, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Video links cover all the issues and topics covered by text links. What you are talking about are technical limitations, not content limitations. Copyright issues are similar for text pages too. At one point photos were not welcomed on wikipedia pages by many editors. That has changed, especially after the Commons success. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and we describe here which are, and which are not welcome.. And no, I am not the only one talking about this, please read comments from others as well (who, by the way, are not all single-purpose-spam fighters (though I don't think I am ..)). --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:53, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Many people have removed "which is rare" or "infrequent". Some have discussed it here on this talk page in various YouTube threads. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:02, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
So we don't put in "rare" or "infrequent". Another point; blind people can listen to the audio portion of videos (such as the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King). Deaf people may be interested in watching videos. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:29, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Direct links to Flash video pages

About WP:ELNO number 8 from "Links normally to be avoided":

Direct links to documents that require external applications (such as Flash or Java) to view the relevant content, unless the article is about such rich media. If you do link to such material make a note of what application is required.

I think "Flash" should be removed from it since 98-99% of internet-connected PCs have it installed.

Is a link to a YouTube page a "direct link"? A YouTube page is an HTML page with a video in it. I would say it is an indirect link. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:27, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Nah, it is still applicable (it still has to be installed, most operating systems are not shipped with it). If you have to link to flash content, then make a note of what application is required. It could however be expanded with even more relevant cases (ActiveX, PDF, etc.). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:59, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you addressed my main point. From Wikipedia:External links#Rich media: "It is always preferred to link to a page rendered in normal HTML that contains embedded links to the rich media." --Timeshifter (talk) 00:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
OK. I see the problem. A link to a YouTube video page is not a "direct link" to rich media. The meaning of the section would be clearer if it were titled
Direct links to rich media instead of Rich media.
WP:YOUTUBE is a subsection of Wikipedia:External links#Rich media. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:49, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Just for a random opinion for this quasi-RFC (canvassing the village pump, oh noes!), YouTube links should be a "no." A "no" that can be ignored when it makes sense, like any other rule, but the default is that they are not appropriate. In short, while we're bantering quasi-legalese, I'd suggest moving from a standard of "due care" to "above meaningful doubt." SDY (talk) 14:40, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

See replies farther down.

I think it would be nice if you just told people that some extra plugin is required. Its annoying to click a link and then not see the whole point of it because my old computer (Windows 2000) can't do some of this newer stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

YouTube official channels

There are hundreds of official channels on YouTube from government agencies, the White House, music companies, television companies, and much more. They own the copyrights, and therefore they have the right to post the videos on their channels. Some of them can be found with this link:

Of course; each channel must be looked at individually. We should start a list of such verified channels. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

I see no value to this proposal. YouTube links are so rarely desirable in EL -- simply because they use rich media (see WP:ELNO #8, and remember that not everyone in the world is using a computer or an internet connection as nice as yours) -- and the list so likely to require significant maintenance efforts that I consider it a waste of time. Individual editors can check out the information when it is actually needed (just like they'd have to do even if the list existed, since they'd have to confirm that the list was accurate). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I will maintain the list. Others can help. We can put it as a subpage here or elsewhere. There is no ban on rich media such as PDF or videos.
Here are some official channels below. Check out the number of views for various channels:
Associated Press
--Timeshifter (talk) 23:38, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
You can put it in your user space, but if it's any other place it'd be deleted for being in direct contradiction of EL rules. DreamGuy (talk) 03:45, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Do you make this stuff up as you go along? There is no blanket EL rule against subpages. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:32, 21 March 2009 (UTC)?
Well, we certainly do not allow subpages that contradict what the main page says. What you recommend would be equivalent of creating a subpage of the WP:NPOV policy where you state that it's perfectly fine to push opinions onto articles as long as they agree with you. Of course subpages like that would be deleted. DreamGuy (talk) 14:10, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Huh? --Timeshifter (talk) 14:58, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
That the links are official does not mean we have to link to them. Linking to media on external sites is discouraged, linking to sites which require a substantially strong computer and fast internet is discourage, it still has to add something to the page, we are not a linkfarm, for some, having a conflict of interest discourages adding the link as well, etc. etc. Yes, there is no blanket ban, and now copyright is not a huge issue anymore, but that is, by far, not the only reason why these links are often inappropriate. It would be good to have a list of youtube links which are not in violation of copyright, makes it easier to check. But that does not mean they have to be included, userspace is a good place for that, indeed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:30, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Please see this: Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos. Here is a comment from that discussion:
There's tons of speculation that YouTube is going to change copyright laws themselves, but until the dust settles I don't see that we're in any position to call this fight. The current language at WP:EL suggests a case-by-case basis examination; that seems reasonable. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:19, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
As you said, there is no blanket ban. She also wrote this:
"Due care" seems to me what Wikipedia does; we remove copyrighted content whenever we discover it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:41, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
"Due care" has been the rough consensus of many editors. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:15, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I am not questioning that copyright is not the issue anymore, but there are many other reasons not to link to these sites. "Due care", "happens infrequently", perfect way of summing up several concerns. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:26, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Whether it is infrequent or not is an opinion, and unnecessary on the guideline page. That phrasing is oftentimes a big stick for spam fighters to use to arbitrarily delete YouTube links without examining on a case-by-case basis. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Everything in the WP:EL list is an opinion of what Wikipedia wants and doesn't want, so we most certainly can and do put those opinions in there. And we need more big sticks to fight off people like you who have made it abundantly clear that you think the default should be to add links to videos for reasons that violate our rules and common sense. Your claim that the vast majority of videos on YouTube are not copyright violations, for example, is just nonsense and would absolutely end up linking us to countless copyright violations, which is not only against policy but potentially against the law as well. DreamGuy (talk) 14:07, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I rest my case. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:58, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Please assume good faith in how spam fighters evaluate the additions of YouTube links. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:17, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I used the word "oftentimes". --Timeshifter (talk) 11:14, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, suggesting that the spam fighters use it oftentimes as a stick. Examples please? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:17, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Search the talk pages here, and on the millions of Wikipedia articles. Let me clarify. I and many others have pointed out on this talk page and elsewhere that single-purpose-account spam fighters will delete YouTube links with edit comments like "YouTube not allowed". Where do they get this idea? --Timeshifter (talk) 14:29, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Of the "millions of times" "no youtube" has been used as a stick, how many times was the youtube link actually appropriate? If it aint broke, dont "fix" it. -- The Red Pen of Doom 16:07, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I rest my case. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:58, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
What? I ask you provide the examples where we did not examine the situation. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:28, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
(expand)Of the single-purpose-account spam fighters that I know, I have hardly seen anyone use '(fill in your external site name) not allowed' (and if they do, it is for external links which are not allowed. Still, that does not change the point, youtube links are rarely appropriate. But I will analyse some youtube reverts of XLinkBot to see how many mistakes it makes. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:13, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
There is no blanket ban on YouTube links. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:58, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I have never said that, no-one has. You don't have to repeat this guideline to me. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:09, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I removed "which is rare" which in effect is almost a blanket ban. See farther down. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) See also: #Official news channels farther down. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica has many audio and video clips. They are not "rare" or "infrequent."

Videos are common in encyclopedias. See also:

I am holding the DVD case of Encyclopedia Britannica 2005 Ultimate Reference Suite. It says it has "650+ Audio and Video Clips." Encyclopedia Britannica would probably have many more videos, but is limited by the number of gigabytes one can put on a standard DVD.

Encyclopedia Britannica (EP) has less than a 100,000 articles. Wikipedia has millions. With its limited budget Wikipedia can barely afford its current ever-increasing bandwidth, and increasing number of servers and hard drives. So rather than hosting more videos it is preferable (whenever possible) to link to additional videos that could be useful for our encyclopedia.

So we need to encourage, not discourage, linking to relevant videos. Especially the easy ones to verify sourcing of (such as those from YouTube official channels). They are not "rare" or "infrequent." --Timeshifter (talk) 11:05, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Read the guideline. Can these audio and video clips be used as references (then this guideline does not apply)? Do they add to the article if they are not usable as a reference? Are they big, do they need software to be installed? Encyclopedia Britannica has many audio and video clips, because that fits with their targets etc., we, on the other hand, try to be available to an as broad as possible public, including those that run Windows 3.11 behind a 14k4 modem (even if those are rare). --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:22, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
We do not limit our links according to the limitations of the very, very few people who still have 14.4 kbps modems. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:31, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Britannica can set whatever rules they want for themselves, and if they can sound fancy schmanc to make more sales of their products to gullible people impressed by bells and whistles, all the better for them. We set our own rules. Our rules on linking to videos and other media files has always been very clear. If you want to ignore those rules, hey, maybe you should try to get a job at Encyclopedia Britannica. Good luck with that. DreamGuy (talk) 14:03, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I see that now when you have no argument you resort to distractions. What matters is what is best for Wikipedia now, not out-of-date rules. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:29, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
We do not limit our links according to the limitations of the very, very few people — Yes, we do. We routinely limit Wikipedia according to the limitations of the very, very few people. See, for example, WP:ACCESS. We split articles when they get long so that people can read them in antique browsers or on their iPhones -- even though very, very few of the six billion people on their earth are affected by these conditions. We write the beginning of even the most esoteric and technical topics so that anyone could understand it, even when we know that very, very few of our non-expert readers are likely to ever look at the page. Access for the maximum number of people is good; exclusion of those that don't happen to be like you is evil. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:26, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
We do not limit our links according to the limitations of the very, very few people who still have 14.4 kbps modems. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:37, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

The bandwidth argument

I have to say that I find the argument around modem speed rather bizarre. External links (unless they are massive in numbers) do not appreciably increase the time needed to load one of our pages, so they don't have an appreciable effect on the reading of the encyclopedia itself. If people want to follow links, that's up to them. The argument seems to be that we don't want to show them material which we aren't going to show them anyway in exchange for keeping them in the dark about the existence and location of this material. I just don't see the logic. Mangoe (talk) 18:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Though we now established that it is not true for flash video content, content that requires the transfer of huge amounts of data would make that data practically inaccessible for people behind a very slow bandwidth (as they would have to wait a very long time). But if the material is detrimental, it can of course still be linked. It is more a preference, try to link to html content which does not need external applications, which is accessible to all etc. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:11, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, these links are less than useful to people whose connections are too slow. But there is no cost to these people for the link simply to exist. There is, however, a cost to everyone else, because without the links they have to find the material themselves (and for that matter, even suspect that it exists). Mangoe (talk) 19:37, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I keep repeating this. Youtube links are not "practically inaccessible." I watched many YouTube videos when I had dialup internet access. It's a choice I made. We shouldn't decide for others with dialup access. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:49, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Timeshifter, yes, for YouTube we are beyond the bandwidth argument (you are beating a dead horse there!), but not for a 15 Mb PDF. Mangoe, it is merely a part of the consideration. As I said, if it really adds, well, it is still not forbidden .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:02, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Alright, then let us remove Flash from WP:ELNO number 8. We have been discussing YouTube, not PDFs. YouTube uses Flash. Since Flash is already installed on over 98-99% of internet-connected PCs it does not need to be listed at WP:ELNO number 8. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:19, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
No, here we were discussing bandwidth (see header subsection), but well.
As you have been saying, one single-purpose-anti-spam-fighter does not make consensus (neither does one YouTube inclusionist), I still think it has its place, you say it does not. Lets hear what the rest of the community thinks ... --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:28, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Bandwith is not a compelling argument. Under that logic we would need to not link to any site that had high resolution pictures or such. JoshuaZ (talk) 21:36, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Not to mention sites like the IMSLP where the whole point is to DL multi-MB sized files. Yet, that site, though not part Wikimedia itself, is cross accessible with the [[Scores:<>]] prefix. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:17, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
  • If you have slow internet access, and no patience for loading something from YouTube, then you wouldn't click on the link to go there. As long as the link says YouTube, you should know better. And almost everyone with internet has Flash, the player free. Also, if this is an actual concern for anyone, you can put the file size in the external link, or the length of the video. If someone clicks a link and finds it not loading fast enough for them, they can always just hit the back button on their browser. PDFs are irritating as they lock up browsers as they load things up, no way to stop and cancel them once you click on a link to one. So any PDF file should be labeled as such, and its size as well. Dream Focus 22:46, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The reader should decide. PDF downloads can be stopped by clicking the stop button at the top of one's browser. Here is a long PDF to see what I mean:
It is a reference for My Lai Massacre. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:42, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, with Firefox it locks up. I am unable to stop the pdf from loading, or do anything else with my browser while its loading it up. Tried an add on suppose to fix that problem, but it didn't work. So having PDF listed there along with the size would be necessary to avoid problems. Dream Focus 21:29, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
If we have to explain the temporary bugginess of every browser nothing would be linked. I changed from Firefox to Opera cause of some bugginess with bookmarks when one has a lot of them. Probably a temporary problem. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:46, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Which is rare

I removed "which is rare" from the "Linking to user-submitted video sites" section of Wikipedia:External links

There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see Restrictions on linking) which is rare. See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights. Each such link must be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. These links must also identify the software necessary for readers to see the content.

--Timeshifter (talk) 13:33, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

And I have reverted, as you could have seen, there are several editors in these threads who still think that it is rare (and not only single purpose anti spam fighters). This was not the only argument used by them, and your countering them does not mean that there is consensus for your change. Please get consensus here first. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:56, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, if I see above threads, Dreamguy, Ronz, WhatamIdoing, TheRedPenOfDoom, and me have problems with the removal, while you and Wikidemon actively would like it removed, and some others have argued that certain points are not an issue for YouTube (but I don't see a clear mention of rare or not rare/frequent or infrequent. You keep repeating 'due care' has rough consensus (i.e., not full consensus?), and I do not believe 'due care' excludes 'rare' or 'infrequent'. Please either show where consensus is reached to remove 'rare' or 'infrequent' in favour of 'due care' before removing it again. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Many other people besides me have removed the "which is rare" or "infrequent" part from Wikipedia:External links#Linking to user-submitted video sites. And they have commented on it in various YouTube threads. A few spam fighters keep returning it, but a few full-time spam fighters does not a consensus make. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:53, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
This line, with one wording or another, has been on this page for YEARS, and that only Timeshifter and occasionally one other person has opposed it, while many editors have clearly supported making the clarification loud and clear both in the past and every single time it comes up in discussion. For Timeshifter to still be claiming there is no consensus is pushing good faith assumption of innocence to the breaking point. I pointed out in the past that if he continued to make such claims in face of such overwhelming opposition that they could only be taken as intentionally misleading comments. If he keeps this up he should be blocked from editing this page, if it comes to that. DreamGuy (talk) 14:32, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I am going to expand to clarify my previous point, there are two things here:
a) people have to take 'due care' when adding links to user submitted data as it may involve copyright issues. That is true for practically all user submitted content. Timeshifter says, and I believe and agree with it, that 'due care' has rough consensus. Certain extremely popular sites, like YouTube, are specially named as people have to take care with these links. However, there is much content which is OK. And I totally agree with you there!
b) For all external links, one has to see if it is includable considering the guideline. Some links, like the official link of a company on a company site, is frequently (well, practically ALWAYS) appropriate, for user submitted content which often fail several of the WP:ELNO rules, those are less frequent (or more rare, depends what words you want to use). That is, for user submitted video content even less frequent than for the self created relevant blog on blogspot, as YouTube hits more WP:ELNO's (even with 98% market coverage, it still means that 2% don't have it, and it still needs to be installed by the user) than blogspot does. That does not mean that there are no YouTube video's that are appropriate, but there are not many which are really appropriate enough (regarding your example of Martin Luther King .. yes, that video is suitable and free of copyright, but that does not mean that that copy has to be included (vide infra).
These two points are totally SEPARATE, Timeshifter. I agree with the 'due care' AND with having 'rare or infrequent' in the guideline. I believe you if you say 'due care' has (rough) consensus, but that does not mean that 'rare or infrequent' does not have consensus. According that logic, WP:EL should only contain the words 'due care', as the rest does not have consensus?
Timeshifter, I indeed spend quite some time in spam fighting. YouTube is generally not a part of spam (though videolinks get spammed .. caught two youtube clones yesterday). I don't spend my time reverting youtube links as spam, there are better links to revert. I do however, come across the odd video site which gets added. If I see those links, they often are not suitable external links, they do not add to the page (or don't add more than other sites do). Coming back to Martin Luther King, I expect that a movie of the official talk is embedded in most official sites regarding Martin Luther King, so do we need the youtube link as well, no, because it does not add. That again does not mean that there are no places where it is appropriate, but they are far, far from a 'must'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:23, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

For and against "which is rare"

It doesn't matter what many people have said in many YouTube threads. A few spam fighters keep trying to block YouTube links with a variety of almost-blanket-ban phrasing at Wikipedia:External links#Linking to user-submitted video sites (or use WP:YOUTUBE).

Many people have removed "which is rare" or "infrequent." --Timeshifter (talk) 22:12, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Two people is not "many". Clearly the broad consensus is to keep it. 2005 (talk) 23:23, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
There are more people than two in this multi-part thread. Also, check the history of Wikipedia:External links for people who have removed it. Read their edit summaries, too. Check the archives of this talk page. There have been many YouTube discussions. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:46, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Consensus is not a vote. --Ronz (talk) 03:27, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I am familiar with the discussions, and the overwhelming majority stand behind the idea of rare or infrequent. Your insistance to change what is broadly accepted just seems uselessly stubborn at this point. Let's move on. 2005 (talk) 03:40, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Overwhelming majority, or three three or so people who talk a lot? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:49, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the current status of TFD#Template:YouTube portrays the consensus attitude quite well. All admins and most editors commenting there, agree that linking to youtube is a normal practice, and that it is used for far more purposes than just violating copyrights.
I support removing the "which is rare" wording from this style guideline. -- Quiddity (talk) 04:55, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
That discussion and template are completely irrelevant to this discussion. There is no dispute that sometimes Youtube can be linked. Let's stay on topic here please. 2005 (talk) 06:22, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Quiddity's comment seems perfectly on topic to me, saying that since it's a normal practice, it is indeed NOT rare. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:18, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't mean that at all, in fact the assertion is bizarre. There are external link templates that only have a few dozen usages. The fact there is support for using an external link template for Youtube links is completely irreleavnt to how rare such links are appropriate. Some people want the links templated for example because that makes them easier to police. Do you really need to use something completely unrelated as justification for your position? The sun rising in the east is not a justification for using the phrase rare or not rare. There are billions of youtube videos. We link to thousands that (allegedly) meet the guideline. The question is whether .001% guideline compliance merits the word "rare" or not. Support for a template is not even remotely on the same subject. 2005 (talk) 11:55, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

(undent) YouTube links are often helpful (e.g. Sabre dance (pitch-up) has one I followed just recently) and shouldn't be outright banned, but what does "due care" mean? "Which is rare" meant that the links were to be avoided unless obviously appropriate, but "due care" means absolutely nothing to me. All external links should be treated with "due care," YouTube links should have a higher demand. As it is, there's no point in saying "due care" again in that section. Maybe it'd make more sense if I read the megabyte of discussions on the topic, but the policy should be clear. SDY (talk) 22:51, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I will add myself to those who support the removal of "which is rare". Even if true, it's not necessary or helpful to state here. Whenever an External Link to Youtube is challenged for any reason, "which is rare" gives editors an excuse to dismiss the link out of hand without really addressing the arguments. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:04, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2009 March 30#Template:YouTube:

  • What about all those thousands of articles where it is appropriate? And for that matter, the "edit this page" tab makes it look too that someone can edit a page and write whatever nonsense he wants. People will continue to add YouTube links, with or without a template. Do U(knome)? yes...or no 19:16, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't see how it's a blatant violation of WP:EL, as indeed there is no blanket ban on YouTube links. I can think of multiple cases where a YouTube link would be a worthwile external link; for instance, a music video from an artist or label's official YouTube channel, or in an article about a YouTube video that has become notable enough to warrant its own article (see Category:YouTube videos for several examples). Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Many ottersOne hammerHELP) 19:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
  • YouTube links are often appropriate in articles, as mentioned above, and link templates of the kind are good for a standardized look (just like {{Official}}, {{imdb title}}, {{memoryalpha}}, ...). Does not violate WP:EL. --Amalthea 23:24, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

There are many more people who have voiced similar opinions here on this talk page and elsewhere in related discussions. It is not "rare" or "infrequent" for people to find acceptable YouTube links. Show me where there was ever consensus for "rare" or "infrequent". Maybe at a mostly spam-fighters thread.

There is only one use of the word "rare" in Wikipedia:External links, and it is basically an incorrect editorial opinion. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:06, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I can also give you many examples of where the YouTube link is not appropriate, might I again mention Martin Luther King? --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:07, 10 April 2009 (UTC) Which now actually contains at least one duplicate video link ....

Trying to follow the discussions

I reverted back to the version that contains "this is rare" for now as I didn't see consensus to remove it (it appears to be a variant of the original wording of "which would be infrequent"); but I'm trying to review the discussions on multiple talk pages to try figuring out all the issues involved here. I have no strong opinion on this yet myself, still trying to figure out everyone's arguments each way.

From what I can see so far, the wording "which would be infrequent" was added in 2007, and that wording doesn't appear to have been disputed until early 2009 (although I'm still trying to review the change history). Can someone point me to where the discussion/consensus took place to remove the "infrequent" wording? Thanks in advance. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:02, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

There is no such consensus. Infrequent/rare is the longstanding consensus with basically overwhelming support. One editor keeps stating otherwise, but the edit history of course show differently. 2005 (talk) 03:05, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
There have been many editors who have removed "infrequent" and "rare". A few single-purpose-account (SPA), fulltime spam fighters (mostly) keep adding it. There have been many YouTube discussions. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
You've removed the wording many times, and in contrast four different editors have reverted you. There is virtually no support for your position. 2005 (talk) 04:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
No support? See the previous talk sections. Almost everyone continually adding back "which is rare" or "infrequent" are spam fighters (most of their edits have to do with spam). See their user contributions (contribs) in the links below. By the way, on April 5, 2009 DreamGuy (talk · contribs) was blocked for a week for 3RR. See: his block log. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:23, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
So what's your point? If I got blocked for 3RR (it didn't take, obviously), that doesn't mean you can try to claim nothing I ever say is right. That's a transparent attempt to try to prevail not on strength of argument but by personal attack. The phrase has OVERWHELMING support, and you KNOW this, yet you LIE in the edit comment when you remove it, falsely claiming you have consensus. If you don't stop, you will be blocked. DreamGuy (talk) 16:23, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
See the previous talk section. I only claim consensus for "due care." Please see WP:CALM and WP:1RR. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:39, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
As both versions of the line in question contain "due care", claiming consensus for that as rationale to remove something you clearly do not have consensus to do is highly deceptive. DreamGuy (talk) 19:49, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I let this slide at first. But your continued insistence on some version of "rare" or "infrequent" in spite of a lack of current consensus is also combined with this personal attack of "deception." --Timeshifter (talk) 05:02, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Not really a strong consensus either way in the edit history. From what I found, "infrequent" and "rare" was supported/restored by DreamGuy (talk · contribs), The Parting Glass (talk · contribs), 2005 (talk · contribs), and Beetstra (talk · contribs) (and myself, but I'm not counting those at this point); and has been removed by Timeshifter (talk · contribs), Aaron Brenneman (talk · contribs), and Wikidemon (talk · contribs).
Also, looking at the discussions that I can find so far - I haven't found consensus one way or another there either. Both sides appear to at least state that they firmly agree that there should be no blanket ban; and the "due care" comment appears to be related to the copyright issue, not the appropriateness of the links, so that's also not related to the "infrequent"/"rare" question.
From what I've found so far ... the issue seems to come down to opinions of multiple editors on the preferred wording to express that the links can be used only if all other guideline requirements are met.
I'm still trying to dig through the archived talks, and I've spotted several spin-off discussions on other talk pages. If anyone has links to specific discussions showing consensus one way or another, I'm sure others such as myself who joined this late would appreciate the links. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 04:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The only operative point is the text has been there for a very, very, very long time, and there is quite clearly no consensus to remove it, so the agenda pushing edits are really out of line. If a new consensus emerges on this page to change the longstanding text, fine, but it's just very inappropriate to just change it when by any measure the clear majority of people commenting on the issue oppose removing the wording. 2005 (talk) 04:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
You missed me in your count of people who fully support the inclusion of explicit language clarifying that youtube links are rarely appropriate. I offered a re-wording ([25] a variation of WP:BURDEN ) that didnt last long.-- The Red Pen of Doom 04:19, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Barek is only "counting" the opinions of people that have actively engaged in Timeshifter's edit war. It therefore misses many people, including myself, that support the inclusion of language to indicate that video links are only appropriate in (1) a small proportion of our articles AND (2) a small proportion of YouTube's videos. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:31, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Why do you want to use the word "rare" or "infrequent" in only one place on Wikipedia:External links (for YouTube links). There are far fewer acceptable MySpace external links than acceptable YouTube external links, but we don't use the word "rare" for MySpace links. There are thousands of official MySpace pages that are linked. See Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:MySpace. The thousands of official channels for YouTube have hundreds of thousands of acceptable videos where the copyrighted material is legally posted. There are millions of other YouTube videos on other pages outside official channels that do not have any copyrighted material in them. Since Flash and bandwidth were shown to be arguments without merit, YouTube can not be shown to be substantially more unacceptable than most other web pages. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:42, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Have you not read the guideline? We don't say "rare" for Myspace because we use much stronger language. Myspace links fall under ELNO, as in NO. Youtube's warning is far milder so your comments are completely wrong. Additionally, the vast majority (pretty close to all) Myspace links are official ones. Similarly an official Youtube link will often be fine. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the guideline before making further clearly incorrect comments. 2005 (talk) 07:00, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
From WP:ELNO (Links normally to be avoided): Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject—and not prohibited by restrictions on linking—one should avoid: ...
As I said "rare" is not used. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
LOL, can't you just admit you were wrong? On what planet is "rare" worse than "avoid"? How is do it rarely worse than avoid doing it? If you were to say you made an error it would be easier to take your comments seriously. 2005 (talk) 08:38, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Planet Earth. Look it up: - "especially valued for its uncommonness" - "avoiding - action of the verb to avoid"
Point was that saying it is "rare" to find acceptable YouTube links is ludicrous. Especially when there are much fewer acceptable MySpace links, and we only say to "avoid" them. You'll figure it out. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Were I to avoid running in front of traffic as opposed to doing it rarely, I'd probably end up with less bruises. If the issue here is your command of the English language rather than a genuine issue with the guideline, then I suppose there's nothing left to discuss here. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 09:13, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The section starts with this: "Links normally to be avoided. Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject." Which is exactly how MySpace links are treated. That is not as much of a prohibition as "which is rare" for YouTube links. You'll catch on. It's funny. It is the difference between those who understand how Wikipedia guidelines differ from Wikipedia policies, and those who don't really understand. It is understanding the difference between those who diet by trying to "avoid" too much in the way of refined carbohydrates, and those who "rarely" eat refined carbohydrates. It is the difference between relaxed self-control and anal retentive. Or as DGG said, "external links paranoia." Or control freaks on external links patrol. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:02, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I saw your edit, and listed it at User:Barek/sandbox/EL, where I was trying to sort through all of this. But I couldn't tell from the edit itself which side you supported, so I didn't mention you in the counts. I also left off UnitedStatesian (talk · contribs) and Conti (talk · contribs) for the same reason, although they also made some edits to the related wording. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 04:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Besides, counts aren't really relevant. I was mainly just trying to figure out the history of the edit warring itself. It's probably best to just ignore that list of users, as it's certainly not all-inclusive of those on each side of the discussion. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 04:44, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the overall question is: are YouTube links held to a higher standard, or are they just another link that is normally to be avoided? Other than a couple pop-culture related topics the only other justification I see for them is historical footage, and that's really because we don't have an internal method for storage of important records (something like wikisource). I'd replace "which is rare" with examples of where they're appropriate and examples of where they're inappropriate, but they are definitely links that are normally to be avoided. "Due care" and "which is rare" are sentiments, not policy. SDY (talk) 14:47, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Not really involved in this conversation, but I'm not entirely sure what you mean. "Due care" is alternative terminology for Due diligence which is a legal concept balanced against malfeasance. It doesn't refer to Sentiment, but to ethical or legal standards. As such, it seems quite proper in policy. But perhaps I've misunderstood you? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Legal language only works in the context of law and lawyers-it has meaning there because people have argued at great length and now the "users" know what it means. Policy should be plain language because we want non-WP:LAWYERs to make quick sense of it. SDY (talk) 19:07, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you in principle, but I think the words "due care" are probably plain enough language to be understood by the average layman. :) I don't think they're overly "jargonistic", and I don't myself find them sentimental. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:11, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
SDY, you wrote: "are they just another link that is normally to be avoided?" No, they are not. The guideline is "There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page." See WP:YOUTUBE. "which is rare" is without consensus. Also, you wrote: "we don't have an internal method for storage of important records (something like wikisource)." Actually we do have some video clips on Wikimedia servers, and they are linked to from various articles. See: commons:Category:Video and commons:Category:Commons video resources. But we can't store unfree copyrighted videos. Same as for Wikisource and unfree text. So, YouTube links serve a very useful purpose in that we can link to copyrighted videos. YouTube videos cover every topic imaginable. We do not currently have the funding to host substantial amounts of video. That requires many more servers, and much more in the way of bandwidth costs. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:25, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I still don't like the language. Policy should be "do" or "do not do" statements: "do not link YouTube videos that are copyright violations." "Do not link YouTube videos that do not meet policies for external links." I'd like to see a policy for linking YouTube videos akin to the "educational value" of the fair use doctrine on pictures: only when they serve to illustrate the subject at hand in a way that cannot reasonably be done with text. SDY (talk) 15:04, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
On this talk page higher up User:DGG wrote the following: "Objecting to these was another example of what I call 'external links paranoia'. If there is a public free accurate source of information on the subject and it serve to extend the material of the article, then we should use it. The more sources/links/whatever of this sort we can find, the better, and we should add them everywhere they apply." In the end the editors of an article have to decide which external links to use, and what best illustrates the subject at hand. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
This is a guideline, not a policy ... guidelines should state what is common, what is rare. I have been away for just over a week, and still we are bickering. To put it simple, there is no consensus either way, it has been there for years, so I suggest that we get consensus before removing it. As I don't see an answer, I'd like to hear the removal-advocates' reply to: "For all external links, one has to see if it is includable considering the guideline. Some links, like the official link of a company on a company site, is frequently (well, practically ALWAYS) appropriate, for user submitted content which often fail several of the WP:ELNO rules, those are less frequent (or more rare, depends what words you want to use). That is, for user submitted video content even less frequent than for the self created relevant blog on blogspot, as YouTube hits more WP:ELNO's (even with 98% market coverage, it still means that 2% don't have it, and it still needs to be installed by the user) than blogspot does. That does not mean that there are no YouTube video's that are appropriate, but there are not many which are really appropriate enough (regarding your example of Martin Luther King .. yes, that video is suitable and free of copyright, but that does not mean that that copy has to be included). --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Dirk Beetstra, you wrote: "To put it simple, there is no consensus either way, it has been there for years, so I suggest that we get consensus before removing it." It has been removed by many people, and people can go to the talk section higher up called #For and against "which is rare" to see the current lack of consensus for "which is rare." The only consensus is for "due care." Acceptable YouTube external links are easy to find, not rare. For example;
From WP:ELYES (emphasis added):
  1. Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any.
  2. An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work if none of the "Links normally to be avoided" criteria apply.
There are many more acceptable YouTube external links. YouTube videos cover almost every imaginable topic. And many of the videos are quality videos on many official channels. See higher up: #YouTube official channels.
WP:External links focuses mainly on what should be avoided. And quality videos found on official channels of many notable organizations are not to be avoided substantially more than quality text pages of notable organizations. --Timeshifter (talk) 09:21, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Timeshifter, 'due care' has rough consensus, as you said, there is NOWHERE consensus for or against 'which is rare', that is what we are discussing here. NO, 'due care' is not the same as 'which is rare', they are different texts, they need separate discussions.

It has been removed by many people (mainly you, by the way!), and also included by many others. There is no consensus to remove it at the moment. That much is clear.

Youtube has many good links, but they still fail a LOT of WP:ELNO, and there are also many which fail WP:EL .. You may by the way in your citation have missed (shifting your emphasis):

  1. An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy ofthe work if none of the "Links normally to be avoided" criteria apply. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:15, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
So, I just found this added [26] to an article, what do I tell the editor they should have done before adding it? Dougweller (talk) 12:10, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
It's a copyright violation -- tell the editor to NEVER link to YouTube for anything broadcast on TV or on a film (etc.), as it's almost certainly going to violate the law. If it looks like an official video, go to the website of the person/company involved to see if there's a video there, which would more likely demonstrate following copyright laws and link to THAT instead. As a general rule, it is extremely rare that YouTube would ever have anything that would fit our policies. Things that are worth linking to would most likely be copyright violations. Things that are not copyright violations are personal videos and not encyclopedic. There might infrequently be something there that meets our rules, but it is highly unlikely in general. DreamGuy (talk) 14:47, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I indeed see no copyright transfer or copyright information. The exact same video is by the way available from an official site (and the video is not an embedding of the YouTube video, but a flash on the site itself! By the way, also on the latter I do not see a copyright transfer, but as it is an official site, I don't expect them to break copyrights ...), and if the information is so informative as the editor believes, then it is certainly suitable (as it is a news-item!) as a reference! --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:00, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Comment. If "which is rare" stays in the guideline, then a clear explanation of why that is should follow. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:52, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Most of the content there is blatant copyright violations, which is described in that line already. Certainly the links to YouTube you've been adding lately violates our pretty clear policies on such matters (there is no "fair use" exemption in our copyright policy to link to sites with legal violations). As I mentioned above, most anything that would be of value -- solid, informative content by recognized authorities -- would only be on YoutTube in the first place is someone violated the copyright of the person who made it. Sources of value -- news programs, famous experts, etc. -- have their own sites, and would have that content on those sites. Someone just uploading something they don't own isn't something we can link to. The people who do have rights to the material they upload and then don't upload anywhere else are typically amateurs without there own sites. Those links are legally fine, but very rarely of any value content-wise. I would support a clarification to that end, seeing as how so many people here don't seem to get that basic fact. I've looked at the times people here have said that they had good videos to link to that show why it isn't rare that YouTube links are of value, and those have been a long string of copyright violations. So, if that's their evidence that it's not rare, then that's not persuasive at all. DreamGuy (talk) 21:10, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Even assuming it's true that "Most of the content there is blatant copyright violations", that does not translate to a legitimate EL to Youtube being rare. Even if only 25% of Youtube content adheres to copyright, that is still thousands upon thousands of videos, and among them there could potentially be many many many good EL candidates. PSWG1920 (talk) 21:22, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
There are literally billions of Youtube videos. It is plainly obvious only a very tiny fraction, less than .01%, are encyclopedic in nature and do not violate copyright. 2005 (talk) 21:36, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
We don't have explanations for why Myspace, forums, personal webpages and the other things have the far greater prohibition in WP:ELNO. The fanaticsm a few editors have on this point is hard to comprehend. We already give youtube a break by not putting it in ELNO, and say in the rare cases where a Youtube link doesn't violate copyright, and is directly on topic, and is encyclopedic and meritable that it can be linked. 2005 (talk) 21:45, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I think I now see the problem. The "rare" is first and foremost relative to Youtube, rather than to Wikipedia, which had not been clear in the wording. Hopefully my latest edit solves this. PSWG1920 (talk) 23:32, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I think your change ("overwhelming") is fine. 2005 (talk) 00:03, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I changed to some clearer wording: "Most YouTube videos containing copyrighted material (outside of the official YouTube channels of organizations and entertainment/news media companies) do not have permission of the copyright owners." Please see: Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:14, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that's the best way of putting it, though it could probably be slightly changed to flow better. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:21, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I think we are getting close, but the statement above is not accurate - every video posted is copyright material according to US law. "Most YouTube videos containing material not originally and totally created by the poster do not have permission of the copyright owners." -- The Red Pen of Doom 13:16, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

One of only the few people who originally opposed "which is rare" agreed to keep the phrase if it was explained why it was rare... which we did, and then, no surprise, somebody went and removed the phrase again because they just can't accept that clear consensus is against them. This is completely unacceptable, and, seriously, if this continues the person or persons responsible need to be blocked from editing here, because it's clear that they hope to force the page to read their preferred way an get away with it because people aren't watching closely, even though they KNOW they don't have other people's support to make the change. I lso support the rewording saying "overwhelming majority do not" or even the original "infrequently" -- one way or another, some phrase like that NEEDS to be there, period, as agreed upon by clear consensus. DreamGuy (talk) 14:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

To be clear, are you OK with leaving out "which is rare" as long as we say "which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites"? My impression after some discussion, as I explained above somewhere, is that the "rare" was first and foremost relative to Youtube rather than to Wikipedia, but the way "which is rare" was used did not make that clear. PSWG1920 (talk) 14:16, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I and others have pointed out that acceptable Youtube links are not "rare" or "infrequent". So "which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites" does not apply either. It is just another way of saying "rare" or "infrequent". --Timeshifter (talk) 04:58, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I haven't spoken up here yet, but after looking over this long-winded discussion, I see one editor trying to fight an uphill battle against consensus. I support the stricter version, and nothing Timeshifter has done has made me believe that the wording isn't sound. After dealing with many EL problems on Wikipedia I can most assuredly say that it is indeed rare when a youtube video is proper for an external link. ThemFromSpace 05:15, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Then you have ignored this discussion, and the many people who disagree with you. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:47, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Timeshifter, the fact that a small number of editors believe that at least 50% of YouTube links are not copyright violations does not change the data that Themfromspace reports here: in Themfromspace's actual experience, most YouTube links that Themfromspace has encountered in articles have proven to be inappropriate for one reason or another. This is much more important than your two assertions, which are that (1) YouTube is doing better policing copyrights than they used to, and (2) a large majority of readers [but not ALL readers] will be able to view videos at YouTube. Your two points are not actually contested; what's contested is whether "improved" policing is good enough to stop worrying about copyright issues [Answer: NO], and whether a "large majority of readers" is good enough [Answer: probably not] -- and, to point out the important point that has been entirely neglected by the pro-video contingent, whether dramatically loosening restrictions on links to these videos would actually improve the encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
There is no dramatic loosening of restrictions. Please see this talk section higher up: #Encyclopedia Britannica and this one below: #Linking to image pages and video pages. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:54, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Linking to image pages and video pages

I think what is important is what best illustrates the subject at hand. A combination of text pages, image pages, and video pages. We have millions of images on the Commons because we want people to illustrate Wikipedia articles.

Videos are another form of imagery. Moving images. There are many Wikipedia pages that have external links to image compilations.

Most of the videos on YouTube are totally legal user-submitted videos without any copyrighted material. We have totally legal images on the Commons, too. Use them both. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:27, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Related RfC

Participants in this discussion and other interested parties are invited to comment at a related RfC at Senator,_you're_no_Jack_Kennedy Dlabtot (talk) 21:27, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Couldn't be a more blatant example of a copyright violation link... If you don't understand that that link is prohibited then you shouldn't be adding any links anywhere. DreamGuy (talk) 21:45, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Your opinion is again noted. Dlabtot (talk) 21:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
And your continuing crusade to remain intentionally ignorant of our rules is again noted... you were told in no uncertain terms there that the link was not allowed and why, and you're still here and on other pages pretending otherwise. DreamGuy (talk) 20:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites

According to whom? Is there any factual, or verifiable basis for this assertion? Dlabtot (talk) 17:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

  • There clearly is not, based on the deafening silence of the response. Dlabtot (talk) 17:47, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:54, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps instead we should come up with a list of criteria similar to and based on WP:ELNO, specifically concerning links to user-submitted videos. PSWG1920 (talk) 06:55, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
There is nothing particular to YouTube versus any other type of link that makes it any more likely to violate the restrictions on linking. See previous discussion. All links must meet the restrictions on linking (see WP:ELNEVER). One can not link to copyrighted material posted without permission whether it is text or video. Most YouTube videos contain no copyrighted material. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:52, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
It's a significant fraction of YouTube videos that do contain copyright-infringing material, though it may not be a majority. For that purpose, every YouTube link should be scrutinized, but that doesn't mean we ban every link, just make sure that it was uploaded by the copyright owner or someone that has the permission of the copyright owner. The problem here is that last check is difficult to do without additional sources, which is why most video links from YouTube, despite claims of being ok copyright-wise, have to be questioned and removed until better information can be made available. --MASEM (t) 14:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
It's a significant fraction of YouTube videos that do contain copyright-infringing material While I recognize that you firmly believe this, the question is, Why do you believe it? Is your belief based on some evidence? Something you read? Or is it something you just 'believe'? Dlabtot (talk) 14:33, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
We do not automatically remove Youtube links unless they contain copyrighted material and are outside official channels that produced the copyrighted material. This statement is incorrect: "have to be questioned and removed until better information can be made available." There is no blanket ban on YouTube videos. If one does not see copyrighted material in the video, then there is no default position to remove YouTube video links. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:23, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
You're misreading what I wrote - I'm not saying we blanket ban youtube, nor are a majority of videos infringing. But there are enough infringing videos (whether they are homemade videos using copyrighted songs over them, excepts or full cuts of television shows, or the like) on the site that we have to place such links under a more rigorous microscope in terms of whether the work is controlled or licensed by the uploader. That's it. Not a ban, just a higher level of scrutiny. --MASEM (t) 16:31, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The question is, Why do you believe YouTube has "enough infringing videos? What is the basis for your belief that YouTube is hosting a large number of infringing videos? Dlabtot (talk) 16:38, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I can go there and find episodes of TV shows not posted by the copyright owner. I can find music videos not posted by the copyright owner or band. I can find homemade videos using unlicensed music as the background (a new common way to "distribute" music videos). And these are not hard to find. It's not a majority since they've stepped up enforcement but it is more than just a few isolated cases. --MASEM (t) 17:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
No one is disputing the fact that you believe what you say. So repeating that belief won't advance the discussion. Can you point to any source for your belief? Other than your own statements? Dlabtot (talk) 17:46, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
And of the ones without copyright infringement, they are mostly kids fooling around in front of the camera, which is not encyclopedic and would never even be considered for external links. It's damned obvious that next to know YouTube clips would ever meet our criteria, and that's been explained over and over on these talk pages. DreamGuy (talk) 14:32, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Many people disagree with you. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Many, many MORE people disagree with you, hence the clear consensus. DreamGuy (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Not true; see the previous multi-part discussion. Also, most of the videos on YouTube are totally legal user-submitted videos without any copyrighted material. We have totally legal images on the Commons, too. Still images versus moving imagery. See the talk section higher up: #Linking to image pages and video pages. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:18, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

We've been over and over and over this a zillion times. One version of this wording or another clearly has consensus, as it has been there forever. One of the people who originally disliked the wording agreed with the new wording, so there is even less reason to object to it now. Seriously, based upon the intentionally misleading edit comments by TimeShifter claiming there is no consensus when there clearly is, I think we need to start pursuing some sort of disciplinary hearings to prevent him from his edit warring, which has gone on for months now. DreamGuy (talk) 14:32, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I encourage you to please stop making threats. If you wish to start pursuing some sort of disciplinary hearings against someone, just do so, please skip the idle threats, which are a disruptive, off-topic waste of everyone's time. Dlabtot (talk) 14:36, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not an idle threat, it's what needs to be done when someone ignores consensus and leaves deceptive edit comments that he knows to be false. And it's sad that a small handful of people who have clearly stated their intentions to ignroe other oplicuies (like the copyright policy) think that they can jump in and try to pretend to have anything useful to add here despite the overwhelming rejection of their claims time and time again. DreamGuy (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Again, just pursue the disciplinary action you think is appropriate, instead of wasting everyone's time by threatening to do so. Dlabtot (talk) 20:47, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
There is no consensus for "rare" or "infrequent" or "overwhelming." See the previous discussion. Many people disagree with you. Feel free to take your threats and personal attacks to admin noticeboards. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:16, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
And you're either highly deluded or purposefully lying at this point. DreamGuy (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
See the talk section higher up: #For and against "which is rare". So who is deluded? Please see also:WP:No personal attacks. See also this talk section farther down: #Claims of consensus. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree that we should not make such emphatic statements without evidence. For example, I was watching AskaNinja at YouTube recently and my impression that these are broadcast there by the creators. And I gather that Google is or has made some general arrangement with copyright holders as they are naturally concerned to control copyright infringement. In any case, the point does not materially improve this guideline as links have to be judged on a case-by-case basis anyway. It should therefore be trimmed per WP:CREEP. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:51, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
So let's have some evidence: In terms of substantiating the fact that the scope of copyright violations, we could start with YouTube#Copyrighted_material, which is based on things like major lawsuits reported on the BBC. Viacom asserts that a single copyrighted work has been illegally viewed 1.5 billion times.
You could also wonder why YouTube would go to the trouble and expense of developing sophisticated video screening software if violations weren't a major problem. Recently, they've been removing the audio from thousands of videos, because it's entirely possible for a video to be "homemade" and still violate copyrights.
As automated screening has gotten better, I doubt that a majority of videos that have remain functional on the site for more than a few weeks are entirely copyright violations (like a complete copy of a television show). More directly, however, a study in 2007 indicated that almost 10% of the "most viewed" videos were taken down within the study period (three months) due to formal complaints from the copyright holder. Given that YouTube takes no action in the absence of a take-down notice (it has no legal duty to do so), and that these videos were generally full, direct copies of entirely copyright works, I suspect that rather more than 10% of videos have a copyright problem (such as an unauthorized sound track combined with original visual content).
While it constitutes rather less than a "majority", I think that "almost 10% of popular videos were removed as obvious copyright violations during a short study", especially with the caveat that more copyrighted materials remained on the website due to not having received a complaint during the study, is still an "overwhelming" problem in terms of compliance Wikipedia's mandatory WP:ELNEVER rule.
(Note that I'm just addressesing the significance of the copyright issue, and completely ignoring the proportion of videos whose content would otherwise be appropriate for an encyclopedia, which is where the much larger problem lays.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:24, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The fact that copyright violations are removed does not work for the argument that YouTube is full of copyright violations, it works against it. Dlabtot (talk) 18:40, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The fact that the copyright violations are just put back up again by people using new accounts after tey were removed is proof of rampant copyright violations... and on top of that, the violations are only part of the reason we do not link to them: If you;'d bother to read this talk page or the actual External links page you'd know that. Instead you came here pissed off that your copyright violation links were removed and refuse to follow our rules. DreamGuy (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
This interminable discussion can go on forever, but the inappropriate edits to the guideline consensus can not. The longstanding consensus wording was "rare". One of the three editors opposing that suggested the "overwhelming" wording which is also fine with most people, but if the now three editors object to to that, I suppose we may need to go back to "rare", but simply removing the language is totally out of line, and very tedious now. 2005 (talk) 22:34, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I've just done that. The new text ("which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites") had, as far as I can see, no consensus before being added, so let's go back to the status quo ("which is rare") and discuss from there. The point is that most videos on YouTube should not be external links, and "which is rare" sums that up quite nicely, IMHO. --Conti| 22:49, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
"which is rare" did not have consensus either. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:25, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not a question of " Which of these several ways of saying the same thing should we use? " The question is, what is the basis for saying that " it is rare for youtube links to abide by the guidelines on this page " ? Dlabtot (talk) 22:57, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, the different ways of saying it has widespread consensus. And, no argument has been made the other ways, except the basically offtopic point about percentage of copyright violations. the point is that there are billions of Youtube videos, and only a relatively tiny amount of them are meritable enough, authoritative enough and high quality enough, (and copyvio free) to merit being external links. Even at a very "rare" rate of .01%, that's about 500,000 that would qualify. Really, absent any argument as to where we would even have a "rare" rate of 1% or fifty million external links to Youtube on the Wikipedia, it's really puzzling how this point even keeps being brought up (and up and up) by a few editors. There is no prohibition against Youtube for external links, but all the stuff like this is not appropriate to link to from the hair and twirling articles. (Also, the "basis" is the consensus of opinion of editors, just like we make judgements on forums, personal pages, etc.) 2005 (talk) 23:48, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
One thing is abundantly clear: The belief that YouTube hosts a large number of copyright violations is strongly held, but those who hold to this belief have been unable to articulate a factual or verifiable basis for it. Dlabtot (talk) 00:05, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
That is not the subject of this talk page. 2005 (talk) 00:09, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Claims of consensus

Re: the "status quo", the wording prior to the disputes was "which would happen infrequently". If you go back through the history, the wording "which would be infrequent" was added May 6, 2007 and was changed to "which would happen infrequently" on May 8, 2008. In February 2009 edits back-and-forth stated to add/remove this wording. It wasn't changed to "which is rare" until March 10, 2009, and changed again to "which is not true of the overwhelming majority of Youtube videos" on April 11, 2009. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 23:14, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay, infrequent then is the longstanding text. Perhaps that will end this topic. 2005 (talk) 23:48, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Barek demonstrated that you misrepresented the facts. (In good faith, no doubt.) Why would this end the discussion? Your error was corrected, so now we move on, discounting that portion of your comments that was based on that good-faith misrepresention. Dlabtot (talk) 00:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Apologies, my mistake, I thought the "which is rare" version was the original one. "Which would happen infrequently" would work just as well for me. --Conti| 10:55, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
"which would happen infrequently" was not discussed before its addition. Please see this talk archive: Wikipedia talk:External links/YouTube 2.
As to frequency see: #YouTube official channels, the many news media official channels, #For and against "which is rare", and #Linking to image pages and video pages. They are not "rare". --Timeshifter (talk) 19:02, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Thanks Barek for examining and detailing the edit history of WP:External Links concerning the addition of "which would be infrequent" etc. to Wikipedia:External links#Linking to user-submitted video sites (or WP:YOUTUBE).

That inspired me to update the archives of YouTube-related external link discussions. Please see:

From my reading of the YouTube-related talk I do not see any consensus for the addition of "infrequent" or "rare" or "overwhelming."

Please see the talk sections higher up. There are many acceptable videos that don't contain copyrighted material. See #YouTube official channels for videos with copyrighted stuff in them. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:30, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I'd like to suggest that there is no utility in arguing about what the consensus was, since we are in the process of forming a consensus right now. Let's look forward. Dlabtot (talk) 20:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but some people claim a past consensus for "rare" or "infrequent." See: #Trying to follow the discussions and #which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites.
In any case things have changed over time. Flash penetration worldwide has increased to around 98% to 99% of Internet-connected PCs, and there are many more official YouTube channels for organizations, news media, and much more. See: #Official news channels. Video quality has increased. From both average users and official channels, there are many more videos on topics of interest to Wikipedia. So the guideline needs to change.
The most ridiculous wording, "which is rare", was added without discussion on March 9, 2009 by User:DreamGuy. See this diff: [27]. He didn't mention the word "rare" on the talk page until March 25, 2009. There was ongoing Youtube discussion on this talk page starting March 9, 2009. See: #YouTube, yet again. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:34, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Dispute resolution

I'm pretty tired of this. Anybody have a favorite approach in dispute resolution that they'd like to attempt? I doubt that we could get ArbComm to take the case at this point, but I'm open to suggestions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:08, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

It appears that an RfC has been started on this issue. See WT:EL#RfC: Should WP:EL state that the majority of YouTube videos do not meet our external links guideline? at the bottom of this talk page. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:29, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Official news channels

Official news channels have many acceptable videos. For example;

How many of the news departments in the media, and news networks, listed in the categories and articles below, have official YouTube channels?:

--Timeshifter (talk) 19:45, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Once again, "official channels" (1) do not constitute the majority of videos on YouTube and (2) solely address the issue of copyright, which is not the only reason why YouTube links might be inappropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:54, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
You miss my point. "Rare" and "infrequent" is not true concerning WP:YOUTUBE. These news videos cover every imaginable topic. Both currently, and in history. See the many other official channels of organizations of all kinds. See also: #YouTube official channels higher up. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:37, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
What is your point then? Why did add this section? No one disputes there are some official channels, and that they often make fine links. They fall into the rare/infrequent/tiny minority of videos that are housed on Youtube which can be freely linked to. 2005 (talk) 00:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)